Map of south-west France

Name and shame: Nouvelle-Aquitaine

There has been a lot of name calling in Britain this week. The same is true in France, but for different reasons – the names of its new super-regions have been announced. And not everyone’s happy.

The move to larger regions is an attempt to cut down on bureaucracy and, by extension, the state budget. Fewer regions means fewer regional capitals – and fewer employees.

Some regions haven’t changed at all. Brittany and the Pays de la Loire, for example, will keep their existing names because their boundaries are the same as they were.

Others have been made larger and have opted for a simple amalgamation of their old names. Unfortunately, the results don’t necessarily roll off the tongue – Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté are good examples. Or bad, depending on which way you look at it.

This approach would have too much for Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine and Alsace, so regional leaders have opted for Grand-Est instead. Similarly, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie have gone for Hauts-de-France. Down in the south, the Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon have chosen Occitanie as their new moniker.

I rather like all three of these names. However, I know they have not come without some controversy.

“Bringing together Poitou-Charentes, Limousin and Aquitaine under the name Nouvelle-Aquitaine has brought howls of protest”

Nowhere has there been as much consternation as in my adopted region, though. Bringing together Poitou-Charentes, Limousin and Aquitaine under the name Nouvelle-Aquitaine has brought howls of protest. It was adopted this week by the Conseil Régional but it is by no means universally liked.

Residents of Poitou-Charentes and the Limousin think they have simply been annexed by Aquitaine – and they’ve launched a petition against the new name. So far, it’s garnered more than 22,000 signatures.

They have until 1 October to come up with something better. That’s when the new name is due to be confirmed by the Conseil d’Etat. I reckon they have as much chance of getting the decision changed as the 4 million of us unfortunate Brits who have signed a petition for a second EU referendum.

This entry was published on Saturday, 2 July 2016 at 07:50. It’s filed under News and politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Name and shame: Nouvelle-Aquitaine

  1. Here in Journiac, people are quite happy as we were always Aquitaine so not much change.

  2. I’m pleased with our down choice here of Occitanie. It makes perfect sense historically and culturally 🙂

  3. I was reading your post to my husband and he suggested the area be called ‘Bob’. (At least it’s more interesting than BFC. Bleh.)

  4. ..and now all da Michelin guides n maps will have to be re written… Someone is gonna make loads a money? !

  5. Personally living in Poitiers with the palace of the dukes of Aquitaine and the clear mark of Eleanor… they could have called us Old Aquitaine and it would have made sense to me! Except for those Limousins…

  6. I’m all for less administration, so fewer regions is probably a good thing. But the naming process has been a joke! We will end up with radically different names, no consistency and complete confusion for outsiders. When will France wake up and understand the value of branding? It should either have been historic or geographical – not this mishmash!

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