The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - March 14, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Germany / European Union – Visit by Harlem Désir to Berlin (March 14, 2016)

◢  French Language and Francophonie Week (March 12-20, 2016)

Germany / European Union – Visit by Harlem Désir to Berlin (March 14, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs and Secretary-General for French-German Cooperation, will visit Berlin today to take part in the conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism. In this context, he will deliver a speech at the Bundestag, alongside ministers and parliamentarians from 40 countries.

During his visit, Harlem Désir will also meet with Uwe Corsepius, EU Affairs Adviser to the German Chancellor, with whom he will discuss our bilateral relations and the major current issues, on the eve of the European Council meeting on March 18 and a few weeks ahead of the next French-German Council of Ministers meeting: the refugee crisis, relations between the United Kingdom and the EU and the future of the euro zone. Lastly, Harlem Désir will meet with two economists, Jörg Asmussen, former State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and former Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank, and Henrik Enderlein, Director of the Jacques Delors Institut in Berlin, to discuss European issues.

French Language and Francophonie Week (March 12-20, 2016)

The 2016 French Language and Francophonie Week is taking place from March 12 to 20. It will culminate on March 20 with International Francophonie Day and will provide an opportunity for French speakers from all over the world to celebrate the diversity of our language. The French language is spoken by 274 million people around the world. French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world but the only one, together with English, that is spoken on all five continents.

Like every year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development is actively involved in this event. André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will pay a visit, on March 16, to the Paris Book Fair, where South Korea is the guest of honor, and which will pay tribute to Congolese literature through the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. On March 17, he will visit the premises of TV5 Monde, bring together former Francophonie ministers and attend the inaugural lecture at the Collège de France given by French-Congolese author, Alain Mabanckou. Lastly, he will open the 4th World Francophone Debate Championship on March 18 at the Quai d'Orsay.

On International Francophonie Day, which will celebrate the theme "the power of words" on March 20, the city of Nantes will host Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of the International Organization of la Francophonie, and the Group of Francophone Ambassadors for a series of events focusing on this topic. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will take part in this event.

For more information on the very large number of events taking place in France and throughout the French cultural network, please visit:

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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