This French department should change its name in 2024, most of its inhabitants are unaware of it

This department in the south of France is set to change its name, but many of its residents don't know it's in 2024 or don't know how it will happen.

This French department should change its name in 2024, most of its inhabitants are unaware of it

This department in the south of France is set to change its name, but many of its residents don't know it's in 2024 or don't know how it will happen.

This is a procedure that doesn't happen often. Whether it is a department, a region or a city, name changes are rare. Only street names are likely to change more frequently. Changing the name of a department is not new. In Brittany for example, it was in 1990 that Côtes d'Armor appeared after being called Côtes-du-Nord for many years.

This year, it is a department of Occitanie, in the south of France, which could change its name. However, a large number of residents are not yet aware of it. This is the Pyrénées-Orientales. This desire to change the name was made official by the president of the department, Hermeline Malherbe, on January 15 during her greetings to the press. It seems that several choices are already standing out. Among these proposals: Pyrenees-Mediterranean, Pyrenees-Catalans or even Catalan Country. The first two appear to be the big favorites, one of which highlights geography and the other culture. For the vice-president of the department, Nicolas Garcia, it is imperative that the new name reflects the "identity" of the department, as relayed by the Geo magazine.

The project, which was included in Hermeline Malherbe's program during her campaign for the departmental elections in 2021, is progressing step by step. This Tuesday, January 16, the president of the department provided details on the progress of the project to France Bleu Roussillon. In order to reach an agreement on the name to choose, a specific working group should be created as early as February. This committee should bring together the Chamber of Trades and Crafts, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber of Agriculture, as well as stakeholders in Catalan culture and language in conjunction with the associative college of public office of the Catalan language (OPLC), as specified by France Bleu Roussillon. Ms. Malherbe also indicated that legal academics as well as historians would be asked to provide an opinion on the proposals evaluated. The group's results should be available between May and June.

A vote will also be organized in September. France Bleu indicates that a communication campaign will be organized beforehand. The population of the department will therefore be asked to choose between the proposals submitted by the working group and the current name of the department: the latter could quite easily remain identical if the population so wishes. The decision taken will then be transmitted to the State in December 2024.

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