France/Decentralisation: the Senate gives regions competence in employment
The right-wing majority in the Senate on Thursday gave the regions responsibility for public employment services, against the government's advice, as part of the first reading of the decentralisation bill. The senators voted in the hemicycle this new provision added in committee. However, the National Assembly will be able to come back to it when it will in turn be seized of the 3Ds (differentiation, decentralisation, deconcentration and simplification) bill.
According to the provisions adopted by the Senate, the regions would thus be entrusted with the regional policy of access to apprenticeship and vocational training for young people and adults and with the coordination of public employment service actors. Their role in the governance of Pôle emploi would be reinforced.
The Minister of Territorial Cohesion Jacqueline Gourault tried unsuccessfully to have this new article deleted, stressing in particular that the regions already participate in the coordination of the actors of the public employment service and that a regional piloting of Pôle emploi, without the financing, would make it "incoherent". The government also points out that regional experiments on vocational training are being carried out in five regions. The Communist-majority CRCE group has also called for the deletion of this article, fearing a "reinforcement of inequalities between territories".
The left had previously opposed, unsuccessfully, a provision aimed at "relaxing the room for manoeuvre " of the départements in the payment of the RSA ( revenu de solidarité active). In allowing departmental councils to impose a condition of wealth to benefit from the RSA, it "stigmatises the most precarious", said the socialist Eric Kerrouche.