Presentation

Political relations

France and Lithuania maintain close links and regular political dialogue. In November 2016, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from both countries endorsed an updated roadmap for the Bilateral Strategic Partnership signed in 2009. In July 2013, the Ministers of Defence signed a military cooperation agreement. France supports the air policing mission in the Baltic States under NATO and has ensured six successive rotations from the Šiauliai base.

France and Lithuania participate in exchanges of officers in training between the Vilnius Military Academy and the St Cyr Coëtquidan Military Schools. The Lithuanian Air Force sends personnel in training to France to the CASPOA and CICDA for specialist training for air operations and military controllers. Since 2013, France has seconded a high-ranking officer to the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius. In 2018, a French tactical interarms subgroup will be deployed in Lithuania as part of NATO’s EFP.

Visits

In May 1992, President François Mitterrand was the first Western leader to visit Lithuania following the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. President Jacques Chirac carried out an official visit in 2001. President Dalia Grybauskaitė was received at the Elysée Palace by the French President in September 2009. French Prime Minister François Fillon travelled to Vilnius in September 2011.

On 16 November 2016, Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault received his Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevičius, as part of the celebrations at the Quai d’Orsay ministry building for the 25th anniversary of the restablishment of diplomatic relations between France and the Baltic States.

Economic relations

France is the 13th-biggest investor in Lithuania (€316m). Some forty French-funded companies are present in Lithuania, employing around 3,500 people. Such companies include Véolia, JC Decaux, Roquette Frères, Consolis, Atos, Coface, Ipsen, Servier, Total, Schneider and Accor.

Trade between the two countries reached €1.1bn in 2016, with France recording a trade deficit of €135m.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Lithuania has been an observer member of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) since 1999. France is the fourth most widely taught foreign language and pupil numbers at the International French High School in Vilnius are growing steadily.

University partnerships in the fields of law and political science with Romeris University and the University of Vilnius are developing. Joint degrees have been created with the Universities of Bordeaux IV and Savoy. Scientific cooperation is most notably supported by the “Gilibert” integrated actions programme which is based on the fields of excellence in Lithuania (physics, chemistry and biochemistry).

Cultural cooperation is extensive (“Winter Screens” film festival, cooperation in the field of dance, the “New Outlooks on Today’s World” ideas debating programme, etc.)

From 2018, Lithuania’s independence centenary will be celebrated jointly both in Lithuania and France. An exhibition on Baltic Symbolism will be held at the Musée d’Orsay, from April to July 2018.

For more information, visit the website of the Institut Français in Lithuania: http://www.institutfrancais-lituanie.com

  • Ambassador of France in Vilnius: Mr Philippe Jeantaud (2015)
  • Lithuanian Ambassador in Paris: Mr Dalius Čekuolis (2014)
  • President of the France-Lithuania friendship group in the National Assembly: Mr Jean-Michel Villaumé
  • President of the France-Baltic States friendship group in the Senate: Mr Jean-Marie Bockel

Updated: 19 May 2017

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