The bold antagonism between Jacobins and Girondins
still seems to define the polarization of French politics in terms of centralization and decentralization.
In 2003, the second act of decentralization incorporated the status of the regions in the French Constitution. The reform also ratified several major principles, such as the right to experiment (granting exceptional authority to regions in certain policy areas), financial autonomy and the right to collect taxes. It also enshrined the principle of subsidiarity, which allows the regions to take any initiative "that can best be implemented at their level". The third and final stage of this process took shape in 2015, when another reform reduced the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13. The reform also strengthened some of their powers, especially in economic affairs.