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The municipal union is established pursuant to a decree issued in the Cabinet upon the proposition of the Interior Minister, either by a personal initiative on his part or upon the request of municipalities. The term of office of the union expires upon the expiration of the municipalities it includes. The union’s council is made up of the heads of those municipalities within the union. Upon the proposition of its president, the council may be represented by any of its members throughout the mandate of the municipal union. 
 
Functions of the union 
The municipal union handles public projects of common utility from which all or some member municipalities can benefit. It approves the budget and manages the communal lands within the union. 
 
Number of municipal unions
The first ever municipal union, Union of Municipalities of Kessrouan, emerged in 1977, followed by the Union of Municipalities of Saida-Zahrani in 1978. Today the municipal unions total 53 and contain 627 out of a total 1013 Lebanese municipalities. The remaining 386 municipalities do not make part of any union. 
The fees collected by municipalities for the benefit of the union they belong to are insignificant. In fact, the revenues of municipal unions are largely restricted to their shares from the Independent Municipal Fund. In 2013, their share stood at LBP 59 billion, 60% of which, that is roughly LBP 35.5 billion, are distributed on the basis of the registered population within the municipalities of the union and the remaining 40%, roughly LBP 23.5 billion, are distributed in a relative manner depending on the number of municipalities under each union for each Qada’a. The funds are designated for development projects. 
 
The highest share of the population-based allocations was assigned to the Al-Fayhaa Municipal Union and totaled LBP 3.6 billion followed by the Union of Municipalities of  Tyre at LBP 2.4 billion. Of the allocations assigned on the basis of the number of municipalities, the highest share stood at LBP 945.5 million and went to several unions including:
 
Al-Fayhaa, Jbeil, Kessrouan, Coastal and Central Metn, Hermel, Jabal Amel, Zgharta, Batroun, Koura and Bsharri.  
Table 1 below illustrates the date of establishment of each municipal union in addition to the union’s center and the number of municipalities it has. 

 
 
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