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The French Metropolitan Region was created as the “District of the Paris Region” in 1961. Later it was transformed into the Ile-de-France region in the year 1976. Although the name of this region has been changed, till present day, the region is popularly referred to as the Region Parisienne (RP).
Paris is the capital of Ile-de-France region. This region is divided into eight departments namely Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise and Yvelines. This region is divided into 25 arrondissements, 317 cantons and 1,281 communes. The total area covered by Ile-de-France region is 12,011 km2. An important fact to note about Ile-de-France region is that it is one of the most populated region of France. This region has more residents than countries like Belgium, Greece or Sweden.
It’s worth noting that Ile-de-France is the fourth most populous country subdivision in the European Union. The other most populous regions are England, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria.
The innermost department of the region is its capital Paris. The first concentric ring surrounds Paris. It is made up of three departments. It is also known as petite couronne (“small ring”). The outer ring is made up of four departments. The outer ring is called the grande couronne meaning large ring.
Paris Metropolitan Area covers maximum area of Ile-de-France. In the year 1999, around 88% of the region lived in Paris urban area.
SOME FACTS FROM THE HISTORY OF ILL-DE-FRANCE REGION
Here some facts from the history of this region are mentioned. In 1959, the district of the Paris Region was created by a government decree. Unfortunately, the creation was a failure, as there was no full co-operation from the communes and the departments of the Paris region. Again on August 2, 1961, the district of the Paris Region was re-created. The difference was that this time, a statute voted by the French Parliament created it. A Board of Trustees replaced the district council. The French government appointed half of the members of the council. Local communes and departments chose the other half.
On 10 August, 1966, the Prefecture of the Paris region was created. On December 17, 1966, “district de la region de Paris” was renamed “district de la region parisienne”. In 1976, Ile-de-France was made a “territorial collectivity”. It became a full-fledged political entity and also the powers of the Ile-de-France region were expanded. On March 16, 1986, the first direct election of the regional council of the region took place.
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