Home Public Diplomacy Frédéric Petit defends “civil society diplomacy”
Public Diplomacy

Frédéric Petit defends “civil society diplomacy”

Frédéric Petit, deputy for the seventh constituency of French people established abroad (Germany, Central Europe and the Balkans) is our guest. He is the draftsman of the budget for cultural and influential diplomacy, program 185. The proposed allocation is more than 720 million euros. The Parliamentarian has just presented his text in Paris, to the National Assembly.

“France’s budget is a real project budget”

In this interview, the MP explains what this program covers. It thus finances the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), that is to say French high schools abroad. It also makes its financial contribution to the Alliances françaises. Scientific and cultural cooperation is also included in this budget. For the parliamentarian, these “tools must be part of France’s action in the world”. There could be no distinction between “noble diplomacy” and “cultural diplomacy” for example.

“Civil society diplomacy”

The representative of French people abroad believes that “France’s budget is a real project budget”. He thus indicates that “it is not a question of financing the ministry or French institutes but of financing missions”. It’s a development, he adds, “of which part of the administration is taking time to understand all the implications.”

For several years, the MP has wanted to change the name of this program. The name “civil society diplomacy” would be more appropriate for this budget. This “does not go against embassies, but it must be coordinated”.

“It’s not the shortage that we have to manage. This is the use of this money”
In this podcast, Frédéric Petit declares that “it is not the shortage that we must manage. This is the use of this money.” Giving the example of research centers, he refers more to the problem of coordination rather than that of lack of financial resources.

French high schools abroad: an amendment to distinguish directly managed establishments from approved ones
After the interview granted, an amendment defended by Frédéric Petit was adopted. It concerns the Agency for French Education Abroad. For the first time, the subsidy paid to the AEFE would be made via two separate budget envelopes. This will make it possible, on the one hand, to distinguish expenses linked to the administration of the 68 “directly managed” establishments. And, on the other hand, to better identify expenses linked to the development of the entire network of establishments approved by the Ministry of National Education and Youth (580 establishments). As a reminder, these are absolutely not administered, nor managed, nor financed by the agency.

According to the parliamentarian, this will provide clarification and better transparency. This is about “putting an end to the mistrust of parents of EGD students who are the primary financiers through the significant fees they pay, and who sometimes have the feeling that their contribution is diluted in all of the accounts of the agency, and that it is not directly used for their establishment. »

Before being definitively adopted, this amendment will be subject to other discussions and votes. It allows at this stage to organize the debate on the organization of the AEFE.

This article is originally published on lesfrancais.press


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