Almost 5,000 territorial collectivities are conducting cooperation projects in 147 countries worldwide. Local authorities are key actors behind France’s global presence and outreach.
In January 2013, Mr André Laigniel (French socialist politician) submitted to the Foreign Minister a report on the external action of French territorial collectivities which is designed to establish a real community of projects between French diplomacy and the full range of territorial actors.
The territorial collectivities’ role is complementary to that of the State. Territorial collectivities are also useful in promoting economic diplomacy abroad. Regional identity is significant in terms of competitiveness and attractiveness so that the assets of French regions should be emphasized internationally.
Territorial collectivities, Regions in particular, are therefore involved in the Foreign Ministry’s action in the field of economic diplomacy. International missions (market canvassing, international trade shows, etc.) are supported by the Foreign Ministry and its network abroad.
We are considering receiving Regional Representatives in our diplomatic posts. Conversely, Regional Ambassadors have been appointed to ensure the interface between territorial collectivities and the diplomatic world.