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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Franco-Belgian cultural, scientific, and technical cooperation is particularly dense because of the proximity, in many fields, between the two countries.

France and Belgium have implemented numerous cooperation actions in cultural, linguistic, academic and scientific fields. In this regard, devolving most cultural, linguistic, scientific, and academic competences to communities has led to updating the Franco-Belgian cooperation scheme with agreements with federated entities. Separate texts were signed between France and, respectively, the French Community of Belgium (March 22nd, 1999), the Flemish Community (September 28th, 2000) and the German-speaking Community (December 5th, 2000). Beyond these basic documents from which a number of provisions have evolved over time, in practice, these two countries’ cooperation actors meet as often as possible in a spirit of pragmatism and efficiency. Projects are initiated and developed with partners from the various regions and linguistic communities.

Cultural cooperation is steadily increasing: partnerships continue to develop between major institutions but also between partners little known by the general public, particularly in civil society. Both countries’ authorities regularly provide support to events organized in Belgium and France.

Scientific and academic cooperation is a priority. Notably, it takes the form of partnerships between universities, such as establishing joint masters with both the Flanders and Belgium’s French-speaking Community. It also takes the form of bridge-building between graduate schools as part of cross-border cooperation. It is also based on dialogue between competitive clusters and centers of excellence. Fruit of this cooperation: the first cross-border Franco-Flemish competitive cluster should soon see the light of day in the innovative textiles sector. In terms of research promotion, French and Belgian networks are working together to share their experiences and their service offerings.

Strengthening the global French-speaking community, and the French language, is an important heading, particularly in Flanders and with the German-speaking community (educational activities and teacher training, support for increasing staff at the French school in Antwerp by implementing the bilingual program project). In Brussels, French is taught by the Brussels Europe Alliance Française, with particular emphasis given to training for EU officials and diplomats in the European capital. The Jean Monnet High School in Brussels which currently has 2,400 students has acquired land in Uccle where a nursery school will be built, opening, in principle, in September 2012 allowing the facility to accommodate 2,700 students.

Updated on 03.01.12

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