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Control of Operating Expenses, Bringing a Budget Trajectory under Control, and European Financing

Renaud MUSELIER Président, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

The Region Sud-Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur is one of the main French regions. It generates 7.1% of French GDP. In this interview, the regional president explains the main financing principles he has followed since 2014. In a context in which the government has been steeply reducing subsidies and changing what regions are responsible for, Région Sud chose to straighten out its finances by reducing borrowing and having the balanced budget prioritize the climate, vocational training of youth, culture, public transportation, and business. Investment decisions are made according to these regional priorities and spreading funds around too thinly, which is inherently ineffective, is avoided. For the sake of consistency and in keeping with these priorities, relations with other local governments are now codified through regional contracts of local parity. The creation of a Regional Fund for Area Planning makes it possible to help small villages. In order to fund its operations, the region has turned mainly to the bond market and its partner banks, the European Investment Bank and the Caisse des Dépôts. Région Sud also makes full use of European funding, especially to carry out various collaborative cross-border projects that have been developed with Italian regions.

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