Strategic Sector Support


Role of the Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Foreign Affairs Ministry’s mission is to support exports, but also to contribute to the influence (mobility, trade, innovation) of French industry in the areas of nuclear power, space, aeronautics, surface transport, and health biotechnology.

The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry’s international expertise helps to draw up an international legal framework and global governance, as well as contract negotiations in these sectors. It takes part in the discussions and drawing up of French policy on the future and the development of these sectors. It drafts and defines French policy within European institutions and international organizations (European Space Agency Council, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Maritime Office (IMO), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA, Energy Charter).


The Foreign Affairs Ministry works in close and constant liaison with the other ministries which deal with strategic sectors in order to draft France’s support strategy, under the supervision of the Prime Minister. Firmly outward-looking, the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry collaborates with many institutional partners and businesses to protect France’s interests in strategic sectors on international markets.

To this end, the Ministry:

  • takes part in negotiations within international organizations and specialized working groups. For example, it leads or takes part in about ten annual bilateral aeronautical consultations;
  • works in close collaboration with all state actors in sensitive areas: The General Secretariat for Defence and National Security (SGDSN), General Secretariat for European Affairs (SGAE), Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), National Space Study Centre (CNES), National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), but also with competition hubs;
  • is in direct and regular contact with representatives of large industrialists, major players in the field of infrastructure and transport, actors of our scientific influence, small businesses and industrial unions for which it provides information, advice and support.

Updated: July 17, 2013