In brief

Alsace poll: 68% demand ‘independence’ from Grand Est, seek to regain separate region

Study finds 1 in 2 support more ambitious policies for Alsatian

Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace.
Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace.
68% Alsatians want to break away from the Grand Est region and regain an Alsatian-only region, according to the results of a survey released this week. 55% say they support the creation of a new Alsatian political party that would aim to achieve such independence, and 57% say they could vote for it.

Alsace was merged into the Grand Est region along with Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne after a 2014 decision by the French National Assembly. People’s rejection to the merger led the French authorities to endorse the creation of a new Collectivity of Alsace, which is expected to come into operation in 2021 and to have its own powers.

The collectivity will merge the two Alsatian departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin, and will thus allow Alsace to again have its own administrative entity. However, it will not be separated from the Grand Est region.

1 in 2 support more ambitious measures for Alsatian

The opinion poll, which has been carried out by the Ifop Institute on behalf of the Club Perspectives Alsaciennes, also asks about the current state of Alsatian, a variety of the German language spoken in Alsace. The study concludes that 5% of the population mostly speaks Alsatian, 25% use this language and French, while the remaining 70% are monolingual in French.

50% of the respondents believe that authorities should implement more ambitious measures to foster Alsatian, particularly in schools. 44% think that current policies are enough, while the remaining 6% would like to see all support for the language withdrawn.