Pays (France)
In France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, a pays is an area whose inhabitants share common geographical, economic, cultural, or social interests, who have a right to enter into communal planning contracts under a law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 known as the Loi Pasqua or LOADT (Loi d'Orientation pour l'Aménagement et le Développement du Territoire; Directive law concerning territorial planning and development), which took effect on February 4, 1995.

It was augmented on June 25, 1999, by the Loi Voynet or LOADDT (Loi d'Orientation de l'Aménagement Durable du Territoire). The LOADDT enables the citizens of a community to form a legally recognized pays after deciding to do so by mutual consent; its aim is to help bring the inhabitants of urban and neighboring rural districts into dialogue and agreement.

The Council of Development in each pays assembles together the elected officials and the economic, social, and cultural actors, and their associates, into a deliberative forum to discuss the development policies which should be followed by the community. While the Council can give advice, submit proposals, and monitor development projects, it does not have the authority to make official decisions.

The Charter of the Pays makes it possible to fix the stakes and the objectives of the community. Few structures are recognized as pays Voynet, meaning nation-wide, because the recognition criteria are sometimes far from what the pays are. Then again, several pays are recognized by the Commission Régionale d'aménagement et de développement du Territoire.

The Contract of the Pays can be signed among the members of the pays, or between the pays and its surrounding area, the department, the region, or with the national state when the stakes are well-identified.

In this context, the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 term pays is not used in the modern sense of "county
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

" but preserves the original meaning of the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word from which it was derived, pagus
In the later Western Roman Empire, following the reorganization of Diocletian, a pagus became the smallest administrative district of a province....

, which designated the territory controlled by a medieval count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

. The majority of pays are roughly coextensive with the old counties (e.g., county of Comminges
The Comminges is an ancient region of southern France in the foothills of the Pyrenees, corresponding closely to the arrondissement of Saint-Gaudens in the department of Haute-Garonne...

, county of Ponthieu
Ponthieu was one of six feudal counties that eventually merged together to become part of the Province of Picardy, in northern France. Its chief town is Abbeville.- History :...

, etc.). Today Pays de France still refers to a tiny area in northwest Ile-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

, hence city names such as Roissy-en-France or Tremblay-en-France.

Pays of Brittany

Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, consisting of 4 departments, is also subdivided into 21 pays.
  • pays de Brest
    Brest, France
    Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

  • pays de Cornouaille
    Cornouaille is a historic region in Brittany, in northwest France. The name is identical to the French name for the Duchy of Cornwall, since the area was settled by migrant princes from Cornwall...

  • pays du Centre-Ouest de Bretagne
  • pays de Morlaix
    Morlaix is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Leisure and tourism:...

  • Pays de Trégor-Goélo
  • pays de Guingamp
    Guingamp is a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany in northwestern France.-Population:Inhabitants of Guingamp are called guingampais.-Breton language:...

  • pays de Saint-Brieuc
    Saint-Brieuc is a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany in northwestern France.-History:Saint-Brieuc is named after a Welsh monk Brioc, who evangelized the region in the 6th century and established an oratory there...

  • pays de Centre-Bretagne
  • pays de Pontivy
    Pontivy is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France. It lies at the confluence of the river Blavet and the Canal de Nantes à Brest.-History:...

  • pays de Lorient
    Lorient, or L'Orient, is a commune and a seaport in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France.-History:At the beginning of the 17th century, merchants who were trading with India had established warehouses in Port-Louis...

  • pays d'Auray
    Auray is a commune located in the Morbihan department of Brittany in France. Inhabitants of Auray are called Alréens.-Geography:The city is surrounded by the communes of Crac'h to the south and west, Brech to the north and Pluneret to the east. It is crossed by the Loch, a small coastal river...

  • pays de Vannes
    Vannes is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France. It was founded over 2000 years ago.-Geography:Vannes is located on the Gulf of Morbihan at the mouth of two rivers, the Marle and the Vincin. It is around 100 km northwest of Nantes and 450 km south west...

  • pays de Ploërmel-Coeur de Bretagne
  • pays de Brocéliande
    Brocéliande is the name of a legendary forest that first appears in literature in 1160, in the Roman de Rou, a verse chronicle written by Wace....

  • pays de Dinan
    Dinan is a walled Breton town and a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in northwestern France.-Geography:Its geographical setting is exceptional. Instead of nestling on the valley floor like Morlaix, most urban development has been on the hillside, overlooking the river Rance...

  • pays de Saint-Malo
    Saint-Malo is a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the English Channel. It is a sub-prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine.-Demographics:The population can increase to up to 200,000 in the summer tourist season...

  • pays de Fougères
    Fougères is a commune and a sub-prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany, in north-western France.-Sights:Fougères' major monument is a medieval stronghold built atop a granite ledge, which was part of the ultimately unsuccessful defence system of the Duchy of Brittany against...

  • pays de Rennes
    Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.-History:...

  • Pays de Vitré-Porte de Bretagne
  • pays es Vallons de Vilaine
  • pays de Redon et Vilaine, note this pays straddles 3 departments, including one located outside Brittany, the Loire Atlantique.

Pays of Franche-Comté

La Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

, consisting of 4 departments, is also subdivided into 16 pays :
  • pays de l'Aire Urbaine (Belfort-Montbéliard-Héricourt-Delle )
  • pays du Doubs Central
  • pays du Haut-Doubs
  • pays Horloger
  • pays de Loue Lison
  • pays de Pierrefontaine Les Varans
  • pays des Vosges Saônoises
  • pays Dolois
  • pays du Haut Revermont
  • pays de la Haute Vallée de l'Ain
  • pays des Lacs et de Petite Montagne
  • pays Lédonien
  • pays du Haut Jura
  • pays Graylois
  • pays des Sept Rivières
  • pays de Vesoul et du Val de Saône
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.