What role for actors of "Maison France" ?

French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE)

A role of coordination, information and impetus

For the last twenty years or so, concurrently with the implementation of European programmes and instruments to help candidate countries to join the European Union, the technical ministries have been developing international activity. They therefore created agencies which were charged with implementing their international missions and positioning themselves on certain expertise markets.

The MAEE, which leads the State’s external action and safeguards its coherence according to the foreign policy priorities set out by the President of the French Republic and the Prime Minister, is the
coordination body for the interministerial dialogue of French international expertise. This interministerial dialogue aims to harmonise the practices of the agencies and ministries as well as those of the decentralized cooperation of territorial units in order to strengthen their efficiency and capitalize on these actions in terms of influence and economic consequences. Without rejecting their own identities, the agencies must increasingly join forces and coordinate their actions to increase the French market shares.

The objectives of the MAEE strategy

The objectives, in coordination with the other ministries, are aimed at:

  • mobilizing and developing human resources;
  • strengthening public and private networks;
  • training and raising awareness of expertise actors;
  • capitalizing and developing French expertise.

An action plan

  • Better communication on the issues and perspectives of French international expertise: sectoral and geographical sectors, agency know-how, areas of excellence.
  • Develop the action of agents in the diplomatic and cooperation network for the promotion of French international expertise, strengthening their role in identifying opportunities and developing projects on multilateral financing.
  • Facilitate and develop international expertise missions of public agents by conducting dialogue with human resource leaders from different administrations, in association with the Ministry for the Civil Service.

The French embassies: an essential intermediary

The French actors can rely on the diplomatic network for support. Positioned on the ground, it is recognized as having a key role in mobilizing French expertise for:

  • communication on the know-how of French agencies;
  • its long-term ability to attract and direct requests for expertise;
  • analysis of the public interest in positioning itself in a specific field;
  • identification and networking of local actors with French public and private actors;
  • support for foreign decision-makers.

The French diplomatic representations to international organizations are also valuable intermediaries for providing information to expertise agencies.

The ambassadors and advisers for cooperation and cultural action are now fully integrating the promotion of French international expertise into their mission, especially in order to promote a unique and joint French response in strategic cases.

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The new French Embassy in Japan (Tokyo) designed by French architects and built by a Japanese constructor, is a highly-ambitious environmental architectural project, made possible by using an innovative fi nancial package. © Kawasumi Architectural Office.

France expertise internationale (FEI): a new tool for exerting French diplomatic influence

The main missions of FEI is to strengthen France’s ability to meet the growing demand for expertise, to improve the quality of the forecasts of French experts, and to promote partnerships between national agencies, both public and private, in order to strengthen the presence of French expertise on international markets. A policy board on the development of public and private technical expertise will be a forum for discussion with all French public and private expertise actors.

For collective effectiveness of French expertise

  • Raise awareness and provide support, in coordination with the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, for universities and research bodies as well as centres for research and higher education, as they become more international and extend their influence
    beyond borders.
  • Mobilize expertise resources, in particular researchers and academics, who form a natural and high-quality breeding ground.
  • Encourage the ministries to develop their public establishments’ international missions in line with our foreign policy.
  • Invite the technical ministries to maintain contact with agents on expertise missions in order to:
  • capitalize on the experience and nurture new actions and policies;
  • facilitate the return of agents to their administration of origin;
  • more closely link the administrations to issues of expertise and their resulting needs.
  • Strengthen the network of the thousands of foreign professionals trained in France and who are today working to develop their countries or who hold influential positions throughout the world. The MAEE is thus actively leading a network of “former” scholarship holders from the French government.

Updated on: June 2011