Jean-Cédric DELVAINQUIÈRE, Bruno DIETSCH
Results of a study into local authority cultural expenditure, information on which has not been updated since 2002, show that France's communes, départements and regions, and, henceforth, groups of communes, play a major role in the public funding of culture in France. Thus in 2006, almost €4.4bn was raised by individual communes with a population of over 10,000, whilst culturally competent groups of communes with their own collective tax-raising powers contributed over €840m. Départements and regions respectively allocated €1.3bn and €556m to culture in the same year.
In addition to areas of dedicated intervention resulting from the first wave of transfers of authority (such as public reading for départements, for example), it has been observed that communes and commune groupings are spending their cultural running costs and investment resources on local facilities (e.g. music and dance schools, libraries and multimedia libraries, municipal and départemental museums, etc.) whilst départements and more specifically, regions, dedicate far more to subsidising facilities and cultural groups.
Finally, although the Law of 13 August 2004 on local liberties and responsibilities had a limited impact in 2006 on the transfer of authority to different territorial levels, it was able to facilitate the transfer of cultural areas of authority to groups of communes.