France is divided into 100 , which are grouped in 26 regions (22 of it in Europe). 96 of the 100 is on the European continent, the remaining 4 is (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane). Each of the four latter forms at the same time also its own region.
Most has a surface between 4.000 and 8.000 km and a population between 250.000 and one million inhabitants. The surface-moderately largest is Gironde (10,000 km smallest Paris (105 km - without suburbs, which belong to other the most densely populated is north (2.550.000), the population-poorest (74.000).
All is durchnummeriert in alphabetical order, whereby the number forms the last two places of the Kfz characteristics as well as the first two places of the postal zip code at the same time. Here there are two exceptions to consider however. The region Korsika ("Corse") is into the 2A (Corse you sud, actually 20A) and 2B (strike Corse, actually 20B) partitions. The postal zip code begins however in both parts Korsikas with 20. On the Kfz characteristics 2A and/or 2B.Die overseas stands is all on position 97 and differs in the third place (1-4) - both regarding the postal zip code and on the characteristics. Example: 205 ANY 971.
The highest civil servant of a is the appointed by the government (frz. ), that the prefecture (frz. ) leads.
The highest selected committee of a is the general council (frz. conseil ). The position of the general council was strengthened by the decentralization laws of 1982 opposite the
The is for administrative purposes in Arrondissements (altogether 342) and into cantons (frz. CAN clay/tone) (2004: 4039) arranged. The Arrondissments serves the decentralization of the In the principal places of Arrondissements, which are principal place of the not at the same time, a has (frz. sous ) its seat, those of a (frz. sous ) one leads. The cantons serve primarily as electoral districts for the choice of the members of the general council (the cantonal elections in such a way specified). Autonomy units like the regions, and municipalities are not Arrondissements and cantons.
The 36,679 (conditions: 2002) Municipalities (communes), into which the are subdivided, are the lowest level of the autonomy.
A privileged position has the city Paris, which is at the same time and municipality. Here the town councillor exercises also the function of the general council.
The was introduced just like the municipalities 1789/1790 in the course of the French revolution. By a law from 22 December 1789 they stepped to the place of the historical provinces, which had strongly from each other differed in right status and size. On 26 February 1790 France in 83 was divided approximately equal large As size with the fact it was specified that the border could be removed from the capital of the not further as a daily ride to horse. This reorganisation of France in stepped to 4. March 1790 into force.
In order to make the complete break with the tradition clear, the was designated uniformly after the rivers crossing it or after mountains. From it only 1860 to the affiliation Savoyens with the new Savoie and strike Savoie one deviated; this probably happened, because III. wanted to cannibalize the area gain durably propagandistically. (1792 had gotten Savoyen with the first Annexion still the name Mont Blanc.)
Each received a meeting from 36 selected members, that selected for their part a president and a constant executive board of directors (directoire permanently to 1790). The was arranged in each case in each case for their part into up to 9 districts and the districts into up to 9 cantons.
In the year 1795 the internal organization of the was again arranged. The districts were abolished, and the administration was concentrated debited to the municipalities on the level of the principal places of the cantons.
By law from 17 February 1800 (and/or 28. of the yearly VIII) was again changed the internal structure of the The was divided in Arrondissements and cantons, whose number than that of the districts and/or cantons of 1790 was smaller. The prefectures and as well as the general councils were created. The appointed by the government (frz. ) became a highest civil servant of a with very large powers. This structure remained existing also after the restoration of the Bourbonen 1814/1815.
By law from 10 August 1871 the choice of the general councils was introduced after general right to vote with the cantons as constituencies. Afterwards the internal organization of the remained more than 100 years long unchanged.
The authority of the was extended by the decentralization law of 1982. The decentralization transferred numerous authority among other things on the areas of the city planning and the area planning, housebuilding, traffic and environmental policy and the social and health service to the selected bodies of the municipalities (conseil municipal - local council), (conseil - general council) and regions (conseil - regional advice). The (temporarily Commissaire de la called) had to deliver large parts of its powers at the presidents of the general council, that by law of 2. March 1985 the line of the executive of the was transferred.