General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales
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politics and government of
The General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales (in French: Conseil Général des Pyrénées-Orientales, Catalan: Consell General dels Pirineus Orientals) is the assembly elected for 6 years by the 31 Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales and its executive. Christian Bourquin,(PS) is the elected president since 1998.
- 1 Organization
- 2 The powers of the General Council
- 3 The Eurodistrict
- 4 Use of Catalan
- 5 The Charter for Catalan
- 6 Automatic defibrillators
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- Guy Male 1982 - 1987
- Rene Marques 1987 - 1998
- Christian Bourquin (PS) 1998 – 2010
- Jean-Jacques Lopez (PS)
- Jean Vila (PC)
- Robert Garrab (PS)
- Henri Demay (PS)
- Louis Caseilles (PS)
- Alexandre Reynal (PS)
- Alain Boyer (PS)
- Jean-Louis Alvarez (PC)
- Jean Codognès (DVG)
The General Council
The Assembly sets departmental policy. The General Council has 31 Conseillers généraux for the 31 Cantons of the Pyrénées-Orientales and its Chairman. The Conseiller général is the representative, elected by universal suffrage for 6 years.
The powers of the General Council
The General Councils exercise the powers given by the laws of decentralization in the social welfare, the roads and water network, education, fire and rescue services, economic development, public museums, departmental archives, and the management of protected areas.
- The Revenu de solidarité active, or RSA is to replace in 2009, the Revenu minimum d'insertion or RMI, the "Allocation de parent isolé" (API) to help Single-parent, the "prime pour l'emploi" or (PPE) an allocation to help working poor.
- The Office of Public Housing of Pyrénées-Orientales 
Roads and public transport
Education and sport
- The management of school canteens and 30 collèges of Pyrénées-Orientales
- Two bibliobus that crisscross the department
- The Médiathèque départementale Claude Simon.
- The 40 "sports departmental committees", and the Sports Health Center.
- Financial support for the USAP, and Catalans Dragons 
- The "Platform Multimodale Pyrenees Mediterranean" 
- The departmental committee of tourism 
- The THEMIS solar power plant
Culture and heritage of the Pyrénées-Orientales
- Partner of Musée d'Art Moderne de Céret the art museum of Céret,
- The Palace of the Kings of Majorca 
- The Château Royal de Collioure
- The Serrabone Priory 
- Participation in the cultural network "Réseau culturel Terre Catalane".
Environmental protection and sustainable development
- Partner of the Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées Catalanes
- Partner of "syndicat mixte grand Site Canigó" that manages the Canigou range
- management of Paulillesprotected area
- The Regional Natural Reserve of Nyer
- The Natural Marine Reserve of Banyuls-Cerbère 
July 27, 2007 in Céret took place the signature of the framework agreement for launching the Eurodistrict project Establishment of a Common Fund to support projects of cooperation across the Catalan space, and common development of cross-border projects, the General Council and the Casa de la Generalitat de Catalunya in Perpignan.
Use of Catalan
A study in 1997 found that 55% of the population understand, 39% can read and 34% can speak Catalan. It found a higher percantage of speakers in villages and lower in the capital city. Although Catalan has no official status it was first recognised in 1951 when it was introduced into the school curriculum. The Region of Languedoc-Roussillon created an agency for the promotion of the two regional languages, Catalan and Occitan.
The Charter for Catalan
At the session of 10 December 2007, the General Council approved the "Charter for Catalan" in which the Pyrénées-Orientales is committed to ensure the promotion, development and dissemination of the Catalan language and the Catalan culture. It says in the Preamble: "Catalan, is born more than a thousand years, is one of the pillars of our identity, heritage and richness of the department of Pyrénées-Orientales (Northern Catalonia). The term Northern Catalonia gets its first official recognition.
The Pyrénées-Orientales is conducting a pilot study of installation of automatic defibrillators. On April 2, 2007, the General Council first decided to purchase defibrillators for 22 municipalities located more than 20 minutes from emergency medical services. Since March 2008, when a defibrillator was installed in Mosset, 141 municipalities have them, the objective being to equip all 226 municipalities and the 22 General Council buildings. Certain municipalities have also decided to install additional defibrillators at highly frequented locations.
The devices require a telephone line and an ADSL connection, and their ground support equipment makes use of GPS. Thus their installation also helps to reduce the digital divide in formerly poorly connected villages.
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- Charter for the Catalan
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