Trianon Dialogue: Strengthening discussions between French and Russian civil society


The Franco-Russian civil society forum, the “Trianon Dialogue”, came about following the meeting between the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, on 29 May 2017 in Versailles.

The aim of the forum is to allow French and Russian societies to open up to each other in all their diversity, and move past their differences. It is designed to enable French and Russian citizens, especially young people, to discuss a given topic, selected annually by the Dialogue Coordinating Council.

In concrete terms, these discussions consist of meetings between various civil society stakeholders, citizens, associations, businesses, local government and universities. In 2018, discussions focused on the topic of the “cities of the future”, and the theme in 2019 was “education for the future”. Whereas the year 2020 featured subjects related to the “climate and the environment”, the 2021 event will be the year of “the ecology of science and health”.

Despite the health context, 2020 was a successful year for the cooperation of civil society between France and Russia. Among the key projects of the year was the second edition of Trianon Startups (in French), led by Euryale Chatelard and which was held at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. The Trianon Dialogue also organized a more youth-focused writing contest (in French) in partnership with Shkolnaya Liga and the History Lab. Twenty Russian and French laureates were congratulated online by the co-chairs of the Dialogue, and are expected to meet in 2021 during trips to France and Russia. Their texts will be published in a collection. Finally, the year 2020 was the year the first call for projects (in French) was launched. This innovative event, launched last June, resulted in more than ten projects from French and Russian civil society being selected; projects that propose field initiatives that combine the skills and energy of committed actors who wish to strive towards the emergence of shared solutions in both countries.

The year 2021 will build on this innovation momentum, working towards setting up impactful projects that aim to identify field actors in France and Russia and bring them together. By establishing the contest aimed at young people and the call for projects as annual events, the Trianon Dialogue also plays a part in the Year of Franco-Russian Decentralized Cooperation, by supporting several innovative projects. Further information on all of these activities can be found on the website (in French).

Russian and French presidents, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron © MEAE

Digital platforms for citizen participation

Citizen participation is central to the Dialogue, and is made possible through the mirrored digital platforms set up in French and Russian.

These two platforms enable every French and Russian citizen to read about the actions conducted and offered by the Dialogue, and which are aimed at specific stakeholders in both countries.

The Dialogue has a governing body in charge of coordination (in French): it is led by two co-chairs (Anatoly Torkounov in Russia and Pierre Morel in France) and two secretaries-general involved in the day-to-day running of the Dialogue (Alexander Orlov in Russia and Christophe Musitelli in France).

They are supported by a 30-member coordinating council (13 French members and 13 Russian members) chosen by the Chairs to represent their civil society.