After decades of wrangling, French lawmakers finally voted just before Christmas to slash the number of regions in metropolitan France from 22 to 13.
The map below shows where two, or sometimes three regions will be combined into one when the plan takes effect next year.
And these new regions, which have been created with the aim of curbing bureaucracy, can boast capital cities as of Friday afternoon.
Well, provisional ones at least. Newly named capitals include: Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Dijon, Lille, Lyon, Rouen, and Toulouse.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls took to the steps of the National Assembly to stress that these were nothing but suggestions, and that “it is up to the regions to make their own choices”.
Here is the full list of the proposed capitals, followed by a map showing the proposed capitals in red, and the nine that were overlooked in pink.
Regional councils will have to approve the choices by October 1st next year.
“None of the mainland regions will consist of fewer than two million inhabitants,” the agency said at the time.
Regional mergers will also bring different parts of France closer to parity in age distribution, said Insee, taking the fusion of Auvergne with Rhône-Alpes as an example of an ageing population joining forces with a younger cohort.
The graph below shows the population distribution of the new regions.