The amendment to the Constitution, dated 2003, one of its most important modification introduced during the Fifth Republic, as concerns the number of articles altered or added, did not undermine the fundament principles of the French state. In Article 1 it was declared that the Republic is organised on a decentralised basis. However, after that modification France has become neither a regionalized state nor, the more so, a state on the path to federalization. The amendment of the basic law, by including the existence of regions, recognizing explicitly lawmaking powers of local government and its financial autonomy, permitting experiments in the exercise of democracy on the local level, has undoubtedly reinforced administrative discretion of local government and authorized its increased diversity, particularly in overseas departments. Five years after this modification, we should say it has not accomplished all the results that were expected. Some of its possibilities, including a decision-making referendum, have not been yet used.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.