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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Several projects are supported by substantial cooperation, in particular in the area ofscience: integrated action programme“Polonium”, institutional ties between the main French and Polish research bodies, following the example of existing agreements between the CNRS and the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN); granting of numerous scholarships. The trilateral (with Germany) and European dimensions are privileged. France and Poland commemorated the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie-Sklodowska’s second Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2011, and organized many scientific conferences and symposia and cultural events.

Linguistic and educationalcooperation strives to maintain French – which still enjoys an image asa language of academic and professional excellence –as the fourth-leading modern language: 12.6% of secondary school students are learning our language in secondary school, but only 0.8% in primary school, since a foreign language requirement became standardized in the first three classes, with 99% of students learning English. Altogether, about 280,000 students are learning French,for the most part in Silesia, Lesser Poland and Mazovia (Warsaw). For the 2011-2012 academic year, 27 junior high schools and high schools had 36 bilingual departments for a total of 3,754 students.

The FrenchLycée René Goscinny in Warsaw is educating719 students (25% of whom are Polish).

In addition to the Instituts in Warsaw and Krakow, 13 Alliances Françaises are located in the provinces, including some at Universities. Cooperation also focuses on training French teachers (the country has a total of 3,000, with 24 French departments in teacher training colleges) and organizing French courses aimed specifically at civil servants. Sixteen French departments (Romance philology) boast about 2,800 students. An international French and European law school was founded at the University of Warsaw. Approximately 9,000 students are enrolled in languagestudiae(specialized French teaching in a non-linguistic programme).

Polandhas had observer status in the Francophonie organization since 1997.

Since the major success of the “Nowa Polska” cultural season in France (May to December 2004), artistic and cultural exchanges and projects between the two countries have been substantial. They are well positioned in the action plan for the strategic partnership agreement, which mentioned the“2010, Chopin Year”, and were the subject of a declaration during the Franco-Polish summit on 5 November 2009. Cooperation in the area of new media is based on the extensive presence of French or French-speaking operators (CFI, La Sept, Canal + Polska), as well as on actions in the film sector (co-productions, French film festivals and assistance for distributing films). A film coproduction agreement was signed on 5 March 2012 by the two Culture Ministers: Frédéric Mitterrand and Bogdan Zdrojewski.

Active, decentralized cooperation(175 twinning agreements at all local community levels) is a valuable relay of influence. It was exerted in the area of support for the implementation of structural funds (Silesia/Nord Pas-de-Calais) and has expanded to the Franco-German-Polish format.

The French Embassy in Poland’s means of action for cultural, scientific and technical cooperation are €2.4M for 2012.

Updated on 01.10.12

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