Municipal council (France)

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In France, a municipal council (French: conseil municipal) is an elected body of the commune responsible for "executing, in its deliberations, the business of the town" (translated).[1]

The council must meet at least once a quarter, or at a request from at least one third of its members, but usually meets once a month. The council manages the smallest French territorial community with legal and financial autonomy, the commune.


The number of seats in the municipal council depends on the number of inhabitants. This number is set by law:[2] 7 seats for municipalities with less than 100 inhabitants to 69 seats for those with more than 300,000 inhabitants.

The number of councilors depends on the size of the city. The decree of 27 January 1977 gives that number based on segments of the population of the municipality of 9 members for smaller municipalities up to 49 more cities 300,000 inhabitants.[3]

The law of November 1982, which is part of a package of reforms being made by the Law of 31 December 1982 relating to the administrative organization of Paris, Marseille, Lyon and public establishments for cooperation (PLM Act) on the specific case of the three biggest cities of France, changed the composition of municipal councils, maintaining the same segments of the population, from 9 to 49 members.[4]

Finally, the Act of 17 May 2013 has been lowered from 9 to 7 the number of councilors in smaller communities with less than 100 inhabitants:[5][6]

Number of municipal councilors by demographic slice
(effective for municipalities in 2014)
Number of inhabitants < 100 < 500 < 1500 < 2500 < 3500 < 5000 < 10,000 < 20,000 < 30,000 < 40,000
Number of councilors 7 11 15 19 23 27 29 33 35 39
Number of inhabitants < 50,000 < 60,000 < 80,000 < 100,000 < 150,000 < 200,000 < 250,000 < 300,000 ≥ 300,000
Number of councilors 43 45 49 53 55 59 61 65 69

For Paris, Lyon and Marseilles, the number of councilors which should not be confused with the borough or sector' councilors which are more numerous but have limited powers, is determined by the PLM Act :[7]

Number of councilors in the three major cities' arrondissements
Ville Lyon[8] Marseilles[8] Paris[9]
Number of municipal councilors 73 municipal councilors 101 municipal councilors 163 councilors of Paris

Councilors are elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of six years, and can be reelected. The vote takes place following the French election procedures.