Inter-municipal Cooperation in France: A Continuous Reform, New Trends
France has a rich history of inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) due to the great number of communes: 35,287 in 2017 and 26,000 with less than 1000 inhabitants. Institutions for single-purpose cooperation were created by a law of 1890; multi-purpose unions developed after 1959. These technical unions were in charge of most infrastructures, facilities and public utilities; the number is reducing, as they get merged in communities. Communities, with large powers and full fiscal capacities, were created for cities since 1966. A law of 1999 created other types which spread rapidly thanks to financial incentives. Since 2016, all communes are in one of the three types of communities or in a metropole, which has also regional and departmental powers; Paris, Lyon and Marseille have a derogatory status. Financial incentives are now for merging communes; since 2011, nearly 2000 have engaged in such a procedure.