Papers of the Regional Science Association

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 13–24 | Cite as

National and regional planning in a competitive international environment: Comments on a reform

  • Pierre Mifsud
Local Development and Decentralised Decision-Making


The new French planning reform raises some problems: Might there not be a contradiction between the “voluntarism” of a planned action and the constraints of worldwide competition? Is regional planning the manifestation of regional autonomy or a decentralized proces of national planning, the main objectives of which impinge upon regional plans? The present argument is that for an open economy, planning is not only possible but also necessary. It complies with the choice between structural regulation left solely to market forces or orientated by a national project. The regional plans, which complement decentralization policy, mark the transition from a notion ofpassive space to a notion ofactive space as a means of increasing the efficiency of the national économy. As a result, regional and sub-regional economic competences remains relatively strictly controlled by the national plan. The new French planning system seeks to avoid the pitfalls of an illusory autonomy and the inefficiency of excessive centralization in order to respond to the challenges of our time in the best possible way.


Plan Action Open Economy Planning System Regional Autonomy Structural Regulation 
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Copyright information

© The Regional Science Association 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Mifsud
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche Economique de l'Université de Saint EtienneSaint EtienneFrance

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