Ports of pleasure, the Council of State returns on the transfer of competences


Seized by several private communes of their marinas, the State Council cancels the ministerial instruction imposing their transfers to the agglomeration communities. A victory for the municipalities that does not solve all the problems of the NOTRe law.

Cancellation of Ministerial Direction

Through the ministerial instruction of 8 December 2016, the Government and the Minister for Spatial Planning intended to specify the conditions for the transfer of competence over port areas laid down by the NOTRe law. They fixed 3 criteria defining the port zones likely to be transferred to the intermunicipalities:

  • geographical: be"subject to overall coherence and a defined perimeter, wholly or partly within the administrative limits of a port"
  • economic: that the zone be"intended to accommodate economic activities in order to develop in a coordinated manner a specifically port economic offer"
  • organic:"A port activity zone is developed by the public authority, whatever the nature of the activities (public or private) to organise and coordinate port activities"

According to the text, many marinas were to come under the control of the agglomeration communities. The municipalities of Cannes, Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Théoule-sur-Mer, Argens-Minervois, Leucate, Frontignan-La Peyrade and La Forêt-Fouesnant obtained, on 25 May 2018 before the Council of State, the cancellation of the ministerial instruction. The judges found that the executive had exceeded its powers, taking a"regulatory measure to enforce the law", without"having been legally empowered to do so

A victory that maintains the blur

If this is a victory for the local authorities, which will each receive 500 euros from the State, the vagueness of the NOTRe law that the ministry's circular wanted to clarify remains intact. It remains to be seen what the legislator's intentions are, as he will have to specify the articles of the text of the law.

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