Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and have received significant powers of governance to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.
A French commune may be a city of 2.2 million inhabitants like Paris, a town of 10,000 people, or just a 10-person hamlet. Communes typically are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes ("lieu dit" or "bourg"), the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers. Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials (mayor and a "conseil municipal") with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy.
References / notes
- Communes of France. Wikipedia: The free encyclopaedia. Accessed 1 December , 2017.
Glossary of words and phrases
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