Following a decision last year to simplify its administrative structure and save money on bureaucracy, France has drawn a new map, reducing its 22 regions to 13, and proposing new capitals for the 7 new merged regions. Six existing regions are untouched, some of them already reflecting past mergers.
There is opposition in some areas, such as Alsace, which fears losing its identity, In other areas, such as the wine-growing area of the west, the idea is more popular, because it unites three important wine areas into a single bloc.
The plan is similar to ones proposed but never acted on over previous decades. The changes are to go into effect over the next year, with final effect in January 2018. This is the first basic change since Napoleon's time when the old provinces were reorganized, and subdivided into Departments. At this point, no changes are being made in departments.
The proposed capitals were described as suggestions, subject to votes within the regions, but in general they reflect the largest and most economically-important cities within each of the regions.
Two articles from TheLocal.fr have more detail and information on each region. For the original decision to redraw the regions, click HERE. For the naming of the capitals and other updated information, click HERE