In an effort to achieve balanced management of the Yvelines’ natural and landscape capital, the Département is driving an active environmental policy.
The Département is responsible for drawing up and implementing policy to protect, manage and open to the public the area’s sensitive natural areas (Espaces Naturels Sensibles, ENS) in order to maintain the quality of the sites, landscapes and natural environments. Making the living environment more attractive by protecting and developing natural areas is one of the Département’s top priorities, especially in the Seine valley.
France’s départements were instituted during the revolutionary period, then organised into regional authorities in 1871. From that point on, their members were no longer appointed but elected. Up until the decentralisation of government in 1982-1983, the Conseil départemental did not have any real autonomy: the decisions it made were prepared and carried out by the prefect of the département.
Decentralisation changed the way regional authorities (municipalities, départements and regions) were managed, and the département’s executive power was transferred from the prefect to the president of the Conseil départemental.
The Yvelines département was created in 1964 when the Paris region was reorganised (the Seine and Seine-et-Oise départements were replaced by seven new départements, including the Yvelines). This makes the Yvelines one of the most recent départements in France.
Full details of the Département’s administrative and institutional organisation can be found on the Préfecture des Yvelines
What does the Conseil départemental do?
- It defends the interests of the département’s residents
- It fosters the area’s balanced development
- It protects the environment
- It helps the municipalities with heavy investments
- It conducts initiatives for children and families
- It manages the allowance paid to help the elderly stay in their own homes (Allocation personnalisée à l’autonomie, APA)
- It supports people in hardship
- It builds and maintains lower-secondary schools (collèges)
- It builds local roads
- It promotes road safety
- It subsidises regional transport and facilitates commuting
- It encourages people to play sport
- It plays an active role in the département’s cultural life
- It helps promote business and tourism in the département
- It subsidises municipalities, associations, businesses and private individuals in a wide variety of fields, including welfare initiatives, teaching, the environment, public spaces, habitat, youth, new technologies, transport, etc.