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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Cultural relations between France and Italy are traditionally rich. Italy remains France’s most prestigious cultural partner with a strong and long-standing presence. Our action is based on such prestigious institutions as Villa Medici and the French School in Rome, and the Centre Jean Bérard in Naples. Education networks include five institutions, including three high schools (Lycée Chateaubriand in Rome) and middle schools. In addition, there are about fifty Alliances Françaises.

The “Palazzo Farnese Meetings,” organized since 2005 in the form of seminars at the French Embassy, enjoy a large audience and illustrate the vigorous debate of ideas between France and Italy. A major exhibition regarding the Farneses was organized at the Embassy in the first half of 2011. A letter of intent was signed in 2009 at the bilateral summit in Rome to deepen our cooperation in the fields of heritage, artistic creation, and cultural industries.

France is also helping Italy to rebuild the historic heritage of L’Aquila after the earthquake on April 6th, 2009 in Abruzzo, by covering half the reconstruction work on the Santa Maria del Suffragio church, totaling €6.5 million.

French is the second most studied language in Italy after English. The Italian education reform implemented in 2010 makes teaching a second foreign language in middle school optional. This tends to reduce the place of our language in the Italian education system. A protocol was signed in 2007 to allow student exchanges between bilingual sections, introducing an Italian certification in France, and reflection regarding a bi-national secondary school final exam. An agreement regarding deliverance of dual high school (Baccalauréat and Esame di Stato) diplomas was signed in 2009 and now provides for promoting bilingual and bicultural education in Italy.

In the academic field, a Franco-Italian University (UFI) was created in 1998 to promote exchanges of teachers and students, promote initiatives of common interest in training and research, and facilitate access to international and community programs for Franco-Italian cooperation actions.

Space cooperation is structured by an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation (2007). This was supplemented by statements regarding the preference of European launchers (Italy’s commitment to use the European launcher “wherever possible” and subject to the prices charged by the provider) and on GMES (joint support for a satellite program designed to collect data on environmental safety). Italy joined Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, and Greece in the Musis space program (next generation of optical observation and radar satellites succeeding Helios II, Cosmo-SkyMed, and SAR-Lupe systems).

Updated on 01.10.12

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All rights reserved - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - 2014