Research subjects

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Research subjects

The research program entitled “Local law” in the previous contract corresponds to the laboratory’s historic major area of research. This program will of course be continued for the new 2016-2020 accreditation period, but under its traditional name of “Local Authority law”. The “Local law” title, which was favored for its ease of pronunciation, could be misleading in that it also mainly referred to the study of the specific law of the Alsace Moselle region. This was terribly restrictive for the center’s activity.

Continuous reforms at a sustained pace coupled with the increasing number of, sometimes contradictory, announcements on the subject of local authority law, and devolution law in general, by corporate leaders and members of the government in terms of necessary reforms requires the active and close monitoring of legislation and case law.

The following of the center’s regular activities, for which its members are frequently called upon, could therefore be continued:

  • Information and communication to the, mainly local but also wider, media, in particular at key moments: voting on new texts, election periods, etc.
  • Training and events with institutional partners: Centre de Gestion de la fonction publique territoriale (the territorial civil service management center), local authorities and their groupings (for example for Pau-Pyrénées Urban Community staff), Association des Maires des Pyrénées-Atlantiques (the Association of Mayors of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department) for the training of newly elected representatives.
  • Updating publications (such as Droit et gestion des collectivités territoriales (local authority law and management) - DGCT), chapters of the Encyclopédie Dalloz des Collectivités locales (encyclopedia of local authorities).

The future of territorial structures therefore remains a key area of research. Members of the research team intend to continue their individual and collective activities, in particular relating to the intermunicipality, and even the inter-intermunicipality, of new public service management tools and changes to the territorial civil service.

The study of intermunicipality, and more specifically of inter-intermunicipality and inter-territoriality (with urban hubs and new hubs for territorial and rural balance) should lead to the organization of a multi-disciplinary seminar under the supervision of the “Local Authorities and Territories” Federation and a high level scientific publication, under the supervision of a selection panel.

The retention and renewal of partnerships with the GRALE and the AFDCL should allow research into these subject to continue and develop further, in particular by making changes to the GRALE’s thematic research commissions to include territorial reform and the monitoring of its implementation, and more specifically urban hubs.

Finally, as part of the shift from the “Local law” area of research for the 2011-2014 period to that of “Local Authority law” for the period ahead, we plan to showcase an area of research which is more specifically focused on the subject of urban planning.

Reflection on this subject will mainly focus on regulatory urban planning. In particular, the way in which municipalities, and gradually all of their groupings, have adopted and will continue to adopt new regulatory tools provided by lawmakers in the past ten years (SRU act, ENE act, ALUR act) to develop their planning documents (SCoT, PLU) will be studied. Urban planning documents are now much more than mere tools to establish land use. They are increasingly used for more global public policy purposes which stray away from public planning in the strictest sense of the term: the fight against urban sprawl, the fight against greenhouse gas emissions, landscape and biodiversity conservation, etc.

What is more, the gradual widening in the scope of these documents, underlining the will of lawmakers to make greater use of intermunicipal local urban plans (PLUi), transforms relationships between the relevant EPCIs (Public Establishments for Intercommunal Co-operation) in terms of PLUs and member municipalities. This issue, along with others developed by PDP, will also be addressed here.

With this in mind, we intend to approach the GRIDAUH research network for land management, urban planning and construction institutions and law with a view to becoming a member of its network.

Local authority law has always been one of the favored areas of research of public law laboratories, and the PDP in particular (formerly the Centre d’Etude des Collectivités Locales). The continuous monitoring of legislation and case law is essential due to the increasing number of reforms introduced on the subject, as well as those expected to be introduced. These reforms have overhauled the devolved French system.

The approach taken on the future of territorial structures is a major area of research, in particular in terms of intermunicipality, and even inter-intermunicipality.

Among issues relating to the development of intermunicipality are the consequences of intermunicipality on the administrative freedom of local authorities.

The study day organized on July 1, 2011 on the subject of “new intermunicipality” highlights the growing importance of this subject.

The “Local authority law” team helped create a “Local Authorities and Territories” research federation in collaboration with other research centers (in the fields of economics, management and territorial planning). The local law team has focused its work on this Federation’s main area of research: intermunicipality and inter-municipal cooperation.

Potential new public service management tools and changes to the territorial civil service are also areas of research on which the Center is focused.