Ambassadors’ Conference – 26th edition (27-31 August 2018)


Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will convene the ambassadors for their annual conference from Monday, August 27, to Friday, August 31. The theme of this 26th edition – “Alliances, values and interests in today’s world” – will guide them in their work on the priorities and role played by French diplomacy in defending our interests and promoting our values in a shifting geopolitical context, within the framework of our European and international alliances, which are being subjected to increasing challenges.

The conference will be structured around speeches by the President, the Prime Minister, and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

On Monday, August 27, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will launch the “One Ambassador – One Entrepreneur – One Region” economic forums. These will take the form of 15-minute meetings between the ambassadors and more than 400 company representatives. At the minister’s request, on August 31, more than 110 heads of post will meet with public and private economic actors in 11 metropolitan areas. These trips are in keeping with the overhaul of the export development program carried out in close cooperation with the regions, which are now responsible for their companies’ international expansion strategies.

Throughout the week, Jean-Yves Le Drian, European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will take part in discussions and working sessions dealing with:

  • Concrete actions to serve our fellow citizens: the missions of embassies and consulates, especially in countries in a state of crisis; the protection of French citizens abroad; support for exports; and France’s appeal to investors and others;
  • Major European issues
  • Security and defense issues
  • Multilateralism and preparations for the French G7 presidency
  • Sustainable development and the fight against climate disruption
  • Responses to new challenge such as the manipulation of information and cyberattacks.

Various aspects of France’s actions abroad will be discussed with experts, civil society actors, and members of the government: Interior Minister Gérard Collomb; Brune Poirson, Minister of State attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition; Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly; Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud; National Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer; and Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

Mr. Le Drian will close the conference on August 29.

This annual meeting represents a key moment for the French diplomatic corps; it is an opportunity for France’s highest officials to present the approaches and priorities that will guide the country’s representatives abroad and at international organizations in their work throughout the coming year. It also allows the heads of diplomatic posts to speak to one another and share their experiences, and to have discussions with elected officials, experts and private sector representatives.

Some of these events will be livestreamed on the France Diplomatie site, and on social networks using the hashtag #ConfAmbass.