The report says the metropolitan area’s greatest challenges come not so much from the outside as from within.
Aix-Marseille is one of the most unequal of French metropolitan areas, whether in terms of income, access to employment or education. These socio-economic inequalities are reflected in the differences between localities. The youth unemployment rate climbs to 50% in certain districts where more than a third of the population have no formal educational qualifications.
Aix-Marseille, comprising over 130 municipalities, is, along with most of the other metropolitan areas in France, among the most highly fragmented in the OECD. In addition to the municipal level, there are six inter-communal entities, the département, the region and the central government’s local outposts. The fragmentation of government action impedes adequate solutions to the challenges of employment, competitiveness, joblessness and exclusion.
The key message of the report is that the metropolitan area of Aix-Marseille is at a crossroads:
It has strong assets and improved its economic position over the last decade with strong employment growth (Figure 1).
However, it still faces major challenges in terms of unemployment (Figure 2), productivity, economic competitiveness and in terms of social cohesion. areas. Aix- Marseille is further hampered by internal socio- economic inequalities which are among the most pronounced in France.
However, the metropolitan area of Aix- Marseille is also characterised by a strong institutional fragmentation. The involvement of multiple public actors, coupled with a lack of dialogue and coordination between them, result in a fragmentation of public policy in many areas.
It is therefore necessary to reform public policy within the metropolitan area Aix -Marseille so that more integrated modes of governance can afford to implement public policies to the right scale.
The future Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan authority, as envisaged by the French government draft law, would have strategic competencies.
But the law will be just a first step. This is the "how", that is to say the manner of its implementation which will be crucial in determining the impact of the reform.
The future metropolitan authority must show that it provides a real added value, and that it will address problems that have remained unresolved thus far.