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Encyclopedia > Prefectures in France

In France, a préfecture is the administrative town of a département. By extension, it is also the name of one of the governing bodies of the département, and of the building housing this government body. The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to English counties. ...

A préfecture de région is the equivalent of the préfecture at the région level. France is divided into 26 régions: 21 of these are in the continental part of metropolitan France, one is Corse on the island of Corsica (although strictly speaking Corse is in fact a territorial collectivity, not a région, but is referred to as a région in common...


Role of the préfecture in the département

There are 100 préfectures in France. The civil servant in charge is the préfet. The préfecture is an administration that belongs to the Interior ministry, and is therefore in charge of the delivery of the identity card, driving licenses, passports, residence and work permits for foreigners, car registration, registration of the associations (creation, status modification, dissolution), and of the management of the police and of the firefighters. In France and many other French-speaking countries, a préfet (English: prefect) is the States representative in a département or région (in the later case, he is called a préfet de région). ... The entrance to the Ministry in Place Beauvau is guarded by one gendarme (to the left) and one policewoman (to the right). ... A voluntary association (also sometimes called an unincorporated association, or just an association) is a group of individuals who voluntarily enter into an agreement to form a body (or organization) to accomplish a purpose. ... Firefighter with an axe A firefighter, sometimes still called a fireman though women have increasingly joined firefighting units, is a person who is trained and equipped to put out fires, rescue people and in some areas provide emergency medical services. ...

The prefect represents the national government locally and as such exercises locally the powers that are constitutionally or legally exercised by the national government. The préfet issue arrêtés, which are legal texts written for the application of the law, e.g. to close a building that does not conform to safety rules, or modify vehicular traffic regulations (speed limit, authorization for construction).

The governing body of the département is the Conseil Général, which is in charge of the building and maintenance of schools and roads, financial assistance to dependent people (disabled and elderly), and promotion of local, economic development, to name a few. In the past, the prefect was head of the département; since 1982, the president of the conseil général has been the chief executive of the department. Template:France divisions levels, Junkyard Willie The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to British counties. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


There is an exception with Paris (which is itself a département) and the three surrounding départements (called the petite couronne, small crown): those four départements are governed by a single préfecture for law enforcement and security purposes, which is the préfecture de police (PP). The préfet de police has the power of law enforcement for Paris, which is a power of the mayor for the other French cities and towns. City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Plaque on the façade of the Prefecture of Police, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Paris The Prefecture of Police (French: Préfecture de Police), headed by the Prefect of Police (Préfet de Police), is an agency of the Government of France which provides the police... ... A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning larger, greater) is the modern title of the highest ranking municipal officer. ...

Until 1977, Paris had no mayor and was mostly ruled by the préfet de police (a situation inherited from the Paris Commune, 1871). For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Le Père Duchesne looking at the statue of Napoleon I on top of the Vendome column: Eh ben ! bougre de canaille, on va donc te foutre en bas comme ta crapule de neveu !… (Here! savage rascal, we will put you down just like your crook of a nephew!…) The... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

Divisions of the départements

The départements are divided into arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons. The capital city of an arrondissement is the sous-préfecture. The civil servant in charge is the sous-préfet. The capital city of a canton is a chef-lieu de canton. The cantons have little role except as electoral subdivision. The 100 French départements are divided into 342 arrondissements. ... The canton is an administrative division of France. ... Subprefecture is an administrative level that is below prefecture or province. ...

See also



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