Corsica's autonomy undertaking stirs up wishes in Brittany and elsewhere | EUROtoday

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The president of the Brittany Regional Council, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, during the congress of the regions of France, in Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine), September 28, 2023.

For months, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, president (numerous left) of the Brittany area, has been scrutinizing the evolution of the debates on the autonomy of Corsica. Elected, in 2021, on the head of the Breton hemicycle with the slogan “Less Paris, more Brittany”, the councilor additionally desires “make life higher the specificities “ of its territory, and “unload” the State of cultural, agricultural, housing skills… So, when the government and Corsican elected officials announced their agreement, on the night of Monday to Tuesday, on a project of“constitutional writing” foreseeing the “recognition of an autonomous status” of the island, the president of the Brittany region was quick to react: “This cannot constitute the only progress for our country, which, to my great regret, is dying of its centralism. »

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The councilor then made public a letter, sent on March 4, to the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, and to the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, in which he repeats this desire for shared autonomy in the peninsula. In April 2022, all the elected representatives of the regional council – except those of the National Rally – voted for a wish to this effect.

In his missive of March 4, Loïg Chesnais-Girard relies on the proposal of the socialist Jean-Jacques Urvoas, professor of public law at the University of Western Brittany and former minister of justice (2016 to 2017), to rewrite the Article 73 of the Constitution authorizing “adaptations” laws and regulations to overseas departments and regions, in order to extend this autonomy to voluntary local authorities. Jean-Jacques Urvoas specifies: “This is not a Breton proposal for Brittany, but a Republican proposal for all the territories where elected officials demand more responsibilities. Let us make the debate clear and peaceful by passing through an organic law, which will prevent the Constitution from becoming a Harlequin outfit where everyone tries to inscribe their specificity. »

“French-style federalism »

This request resembles a new attempt by Loïg Chesnais-Girard to “unlock the Parisian lock”. In September 2023, a transpartisan delegation of Breton elected officials gave Elisabeth Borne, then prime minister, a 136-page report detailing its definition of autonomy. A work that remained a dead letter.

Nothing shocking, in line with Romain Pasquier, analysis director on the National Center for Scientific Research and head of the Territories and adjustments in public motion chair at Sciences Po Rennes: “Our nation doesn’t know handle and enrich itself from its variety. After years of hypercentralization, the Corsican query is lastly producing a debate on energy sharing. In a context of mistrust in the direction of our establishments, notably nationwide ones, it’s time to invent French-style federalism. » Member of the Breizh Lab of Breton progressives, a suppose tank created by Jean-Yves Le Drian, former president of the Brittany area (from 2004 to 2017) and minister beneath François Hollande then Emmanuel Macron (from 2012 to 2022), the political scientist defends the undertaking of an experiment the place native authorities would assume non-sovereign powers. Romain Pasquier requires making Brittany and another areas laboratories for such decentralization.

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