Cultural exchanges


France’s involvement in cultural exchanges takes many forms:

  • reciprocal cultural exchanges between France and other countries;
  • exchanges at European level;
  • expressing solidarity with other cultures around the world by contributing to their development.

As well as disseminating ideas and works, the French cultural network is keen to develop long-term partnerships such as coproductions, artist and curator residencies, intellectual debate, twinning of institutions in France and abroad and the transfer of knowhow.

FIAC (foire internationale de l'art contemporain) : la somme des hypothèses, 2011 de Vincent Mauger. Photo : MAEDI/F. de la Mure

Artist residency programmes in France and abroad

There are two main elements to the Artist Residency programme:

enabling French and French-speaking writers, artists and professionals to visit and work in other countries, through opportunities such as the "Villa Médicis Extra Muros" or "Villa Kujoyama" programmes;

encouraging established or emerging foreign writers and artists to come to Paris. The residency programmes offered by the Centre International d’Accueil et d’Echanges des Récollets and by the Cité Internationale des Arts are two key examples of such programmes.

The scheme is intended to support and structure the international career of emerging or established artists and authors:

close on 350 creative artists on the French and international scene have benefited from a residency in the course of their career;

100 one-off grants are made every year to French artists, or artists resident in France for at least five years, to fund a residency abroad;

another 100 grants are made to foreign artists as part of residency programmes set up with a number of different partners, including the City of Paris.

The Franco-German Fund

Set up in 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of the Elysée, the Franco-German Fund for projects in third party countries is a potent symbol of the friendship between France and Germany.

It was set up as witness to cultural cooperation between France and Germany in third party countries by means of concrete cooperation projects in the fields of the visual arts, theatre, cinema, broadcasting, sports, intellectual debate, literature and promoting the learning of French and German.

The programme provides a flexible and original formula that extends beyond Franco-German cooperation to involve other European countries and convey the image of a Europe united around culture. As an added advantage, pooling the resources of the two countries leads to cost savings and has an extremely positive impact on fundraising.

EUNIC European cultural network worldwide

EUNIC is the network of the European national institutes for culture. Formed in 2006, EUNIC is a recognised leader in cultural cooperation. EUNIC has 29 members from 24 countries and over 80 clusters based in different locations around the globe.
EUNIC’s members work in over 150 countries with over 2,000 branches and thousands of local partners. They work in the arts, language, youth, education, science, intercultural dialogue and development sectors. The members employ over 25,000 staff and have a combined turnover of more than €2.5bn.
EUNIC network is based on open cooperation and works in a bottom up NGO-style with a compact, independent and flexible administration.

EUNIC’s mission is to promote European values and to contribute to cultural diversity inside and outside of the EU through collaboration between European cultural institutes. EUNIC aim is to expand the role of culture in Europe and to strengthen cultural dialogue, exchange and sustainable cooperation worldwide.

EUNIC is the vital partner for international cultural affairs, because of its special expertise and world-spanning network. Serving as competence pool and think tank for European institutions EUNIC complements EU initiatives and activities in the field of Culture.
EUNIC projects contribute to connecting culture with such key areas as development, ecology, conflict prevention and conflict resolution. The projects also foster innovation and development of creative economies.

Taken together, EUNIC is simultaneously a network of partners and expertise, an operational network in charge of projects and an advocacy network.

The 2012-2013 EUNIC rotating presidency was held by Delphine Borione, Head of the Culture and French Language Policy Directorate at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She will be succeeded by Charles-Etienne Lagasse, Inspector-General, Wallonie-Bruxelles International. Two major priorities were set for the French presidency, namely the project for cultural cooperation with the Maghreb and the Middle East and the continuation of cultural dialogue with China.

EUNIC’s website

Update : 18.04.13