In France, a prefecture (French : préfecture) may be:
Although the administration of departments and regions is distinct, a regional prefect is ex officio prefect of the department in which the regional prefecture is located. The officeholder has authority upon the other prefects in the region on a range of matters.
There are 101 prefectures in France, one for each department. The official in charge is the prefect (French : préfet). The prefecture is an administration that belongs to the Ministry of the Interior; it is therefore in charge of the delivery of identity cards, driving licenses, passports, residency and work permits for foreigners, vehicle registration, registration of associations (creation, status modification, dissolution), as well as of the management of the National Police and firefighters, although as of 2018, 79% of firefighters in France are part-time volunteers.
Prefectures are usually located near the geographic centre of their departments; they were originally chosen for being within a day's travel on horseback from anywhere in the department. Therefore, the largest settlement in a department may not always be its prefecture: the department of Marne, for example, has its prefecture at Châlons-en-Champagne despite the city of Reims, near the Aisne border, being four times its size.
The prefect represents the national government at the local level and as such exercises the powers that are constitutionally attributed to the national government. The prefect issues ordinances written for the application of local law: to close a building that does not conform to safety codes, or modify vehicular traffic regulations (speed limit, construction permits).
The governing body of the department is the departmental council (French : Conseil départemental), which is elected through a system of cantons. It is in charge of the building and maintenance of middle schools (collèges) and departmental roads, financial assistance to dependent people (disabled and elderly), as well as promotion of local economic development, amongst other matters. In the past, the prefect was head of the department, but since 1982, the President of the Departmental Council has assumed the role of chief executive of the department.
There is an exception in Paris in the Île-de-France region and its three surrounding departments, known as the Petite Couronne ("Small Crown"): Hauts-de-Seine to the west, Seine-Saint-Denis to the northeast and Val-de-Marne to the southeast. These departments are administered by an additional separate unitary prefecture for law enforcement and security purposes, a Prefecture of Police (French : préfecture de police), known as the Paris Police Prefecture, a situation inherited from the Paris Commune of 1871. The power of law enforcement is usually vested in the mayor in other communes. This power is held by the Prefect of Police of Paris in the Petite Couronne.
In 2012, a similar structure was established in Bouches-du-Rhône, the Bouches-du-Rhône Police Prefecture, headed by the Prefect of Police of Bouches-du-Rhône, although it is formally less independent than that of Paris.
Departments are divided into arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons. The chef-lieu d'arrondissement is the subprefecture (French : sous-préfecture). The official in charge is the subprefect (French : sous-préfet). There are relatively few competences associated to cantons, the most important one being the local organisation of elections, as cantons are electoral subdivisions.
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government under the national level, between the administrative regions and the communes. 96 departments are in metropolitan France, with an additional five constituting overseas departments, which are also classified as overseas regions. Departments are further subdivided into 333 arrondissements and 2,054 cantons. These last two levels of government have no political autonomy, instead serving as the administrative basis for the local organisation of police, fire departments as well as, in certain cases, elections.
Hauts-de-Seine is a département in the Île-de-France region of France. It covers Paris's western inner suburbs. It is bordered by Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne to the east, Val-d'Oise to the north, Yvelines to the west and Essonne to the south. With a population of 1,624,357 and a total area of 176 square kilometres, it is the second most highly-densely populated department of France, after Paris. It is the fifth most populous department in France. Its prefecture is Nanterre, but Boulogne-Billancourt, one of its two subprefectures, alongside Antony, has a larger population.
Seine-et-Marne is a department in the Île-de-France region in Northern France. Named after the rivers Seine and Marne, it is the region's largest department with an area of 5,915 square kilometres ; it roughly covers its eastern half. In 2019, it had a population of 1,421,197. Its prefecture is Melun, although both Meaux and Chelles have larger populations.
Seine-Saint-Denis is a department of France located in the Grand Paris metropolis in the Île-de-France region. In French, it is often referred to colloquially as quatre-vingt treize or neuf trois, after its official administrative number, 93. Its prefecture is Bobigny.
Val-de-Marne is a department of France located in the Île-de-France region. Named after the river Marne, it is situated in the Grand Paris metropolis to the southeast of the City of Paris. In 2019, Val-de-Marne had a population of 1,407,124.
In France, a subprefecture is the commune which is the administrative centre of a departmental arrondissement that does not contain the prefecture for its department. The term also applies to the building that houses the administrative headquarters for an arrondissement.
Seine-et-Oise is a former department of France, which encompassed the western, northern and southern parts of the metropolitan area of Paris. Its prefecture was Versailles and its administrative number was 78. Seine-et-Oise was disbanded in 1968 as part of the reorganisation of the departments of the Paris metropolitan area. The newly-created Yvelines department inherited the 78 number.
An arrondissement is a level of administrative division in France generally corresponding to the territory overseen by a subprefect. As of 2019, the 101 French departments were divided into 332 arrondissements. An additional arrondissement was established in 2022 in French Guiana, bringing the total to 333 with 13 overseas.
A prefect in France is the state's representative in a department or region. Subprefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, known as arrondissements. The office of a prefect is known as a prefecture and that of a subprefect as a subprefecture. Regional prefects are ex officio the departmental prefects of the regional prefecture.
The National Police, formerly known as the Sûreté nationale, is one of two national police forces of France, the other being the National Gendarmerie. The National Police is the country's main civil law enforcement agency, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. By contrast, the National Gendarmerie has primary jurisdiction in smaller towns, as well as in rural and border areas. The National Police comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and has about 145,200 employees. Young French citizens can fulfill their mandatory service in the police force.
The police prefecture is the unit of the French Ministry of the Interior that provides police, emergency services, and various administrative services to the population of the city of Paris and the surrounding three suburban départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne. It is headed by the Prefect of Police.
Seine is a former department of France, which encompassed Paris and its immediate suburbs. It was the only enclaved department of France, being surrounded entirely by the former Seine-et-Oise department. Its prefecture was Paris and its INSEE number was 75. The Seine department was disbanded in 1968 and its territory divided among four new departments: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne.
The Île-de-France is the most populous of the eighteen regions of France, with an official estimated population of 12,271,794 residents on 1 January 2023. Centred on the capital Paris, it is located in the north-central part of the country and often called the Paris Region. Île-de-France is densely populated and retains a prime economic position on the national stage: though it covers only 12,012 square kilometres, about 2% of metropolitan French territory, its 2017 population was nearly one-fifth of the national total.
An administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a commune is located.
The Council of Paris is the deliberative body responsible for governing Paris, the capital of France. It possesses both the powers of a municipal council and those of a departmental council for the département de Paris, as defined by the so-called PLM Law of 1982 that redefined the governance of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Paris is the only territorial collectivity in France to be both a commune and a département.
Couronne is a French word meaning crown. It may refer to:
In France, a Prefecture of Police , headed by the Prefect of Police, is an agency of the Government of France under the administration of the Ministry of the Interior. Part of the National Police, it provides a police force for an area limited by department borders. As of 2012, two such prefectures exist:
The Bouches-du-Rhône Police Prefecture, headed by the Bouches-du-Rhône Police Prefect, is a Prefecture of Police part of the National Police, which is a police force in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône. It was created on 16 October 2012.
As the capital of France, Paris is the seat of France's national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. The President of France resides at the Élysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Matignon.
Pierre Dartout is a French civil servant who has served as Minister of State of Monaco since 2020 under Prince Albert II. He previously served as a prefect in France from 1997 to 2020. His first posting was in French Guiana. Upon the announcement of his appointment in Monaco, he was in office in Bouches-du-Rhône. Dartout held key positions in the prefecture corps from 1980.