Firstly of this 12 months, Lepetitjournal.com Lisbon met Florence Mangin, Ambassador of France to Portugal who wished to convey her needs and a message of friendship to the French neighborhood in Portugal. It additionally evokes Franco-Portuguese relations and the highlights to come back for 2020. This new 12 months will probably be primarily marked by sturdy political and cultural information.
Lepetitjournal.com: Madam Ambassador, at first of the 12 months, what message would you prefer to ship to the French neighborhood?
Florence Mangin: I’ve already despatched a message to the French neighborhood, not less than to those that are registered within the consular register, as I had already achieved after I arrived in Portugal. So I want to ship my greatest needs to our compatriots, to start with from a private standpoint for his or her household and their family members, I want to want them an excellent well being, it is necessary as a result of it buildings every part else. I want them a whole lot of initiatives and achievements in Portugal. It’s a message of friendship and curiosity for one another on a human and professional stage.
Are you able to draw a primary evaluation of your ambassadorial duties because you took up your put up in Might 2019?
It occurred in a short time. I received to know the totally different Portuguese and French actors. I attempted to grasp higher the fact and the Portuguese political life, established contacts with actors of the cultural, financial and political life. I used to be capable of meet French and Portuguese enterprise leaders. I met many actors of cultural life, particularly within the perspective of the long run France-Portugal season. It was achieved with nice fluidity and kindness.
What are the topical themes for 2020 within the context of Franco-Portuguese relations?
First, I’ll speak about European topics: we’ve new European establishments, the brand new work program of the European Fee will arrive quickly. Our two international locations are in very sturdy mental and political concord on all these European points. Our authorities have an actual imaginative and prescient and a will for Europe. So one of many main initiatives between Paris and Lisbon, and for us additionally the embassies, is to construct on these political proximity positions that permit the main European challenges to progress. We can even comply with with curiosity the preparation of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU subsequent 12 months, the French Presidency will comply with shortly after.
On a bilateral stage, one factor that must be emphasised is the continuation of the excellent high quality of the enterprise local weather: we wish extra Portuguese corporations to go to put money into France and that the curiosity of French corporations for Portugal is maintained.
There can even be the brand new France-Portugal cultural season in 2021-2022. Work on this topic has began, the commissioners have been appointed: Victoire De Rosa (France), João Pinharanda (Portugal) and Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota as President of the Season. The primary assembly of the organizing committee occurred earlier than Christmas, the subsequent will happen in early April in Lisbon. The programming work started to have initiatives, actions and occasions within the territories of the 2 international locations that illustrate the range and richness of our bilateral relationship. All 12 months lengthy we’ll work on the preparation of this nice second.
On this month of January, we’re within the technique of finalizing the “Evening of Concepts”, which can happen on January 30 and which had been an incredible success final 12 months. The occasion will probably be held on the Calouste Gulbenkian Basis and the topic handled this 12 months could be very broad and fascinating: “being alive”. We could have Portuguese and French friends. There will probably be a number of variations of this topic “Ser e estar vivo” when it comes to ethics, scientific analysis and civic engagement. We hope that there will probably be as huge an attendance as final 12 months, with the identical public involvement within the debates.
Lastly, with regard to the instructing of French, we’re persevering with our efforts to strengthen the educational of French in Portugal among the many youthful generations. We’ve got an academic and linguistic cooperation settlement with Portugal, which entered into pressure final 12 months, on the idea of which we’ve began to develop an entire collection of instruments and initiatives to advertise and strengthen the instructing of French in Portugal. There are, in Porto and Lisbon, alongside present institutions, initiatives of latest French colleges by personal promoters to develop the supply of instructing French in Portugal and we assist this supply in order that every part goes easily. constant and with out competitors between the gamers.
What significance does the 2021-2022 cultural season characterize within the Franco-Portuguese bilateral relationship?
It’s a second of excessive visibility, for eight months, with initiatives in each international locations on the similar time. The thought is to modernize the notion that every nation has of the opposite, to work on youth, Europe – which will probably be one of many frequent threads, and equality between women and men. We should present the richness, complexity and excellence of the connection between the 2 international locations in all areas. On the French facet, a committee of patrons will probably be arrange with French corporations who will contribute to the financing of initiatives, but additionally for corporations who need to promote collaboration between the 2 international locations.
Are official visits deliberate for 2020?
The Portuguese Minister of Protection goes to Paris this week; our armies work intently collectively, significantly in Africa, operationally. The French Minister of Overseas Affairs will quickly come to Portugal as properly. We additionally hope for the arrival of different ministerial authorities, to say particularly cooperation within the space of area or training. However no date has been set. We’re additionally awaiting the go to of the President of the Republic to Portugal. He desires to come back and he has advised his Portuguese counterparts. We hope that in 2020 or 2021, a state go to will happen in Portugal.
We even have many different deadlines: one which occurred final week with the launch of the France season on the Casa do musica in Porto, in March there would be the week of the Francophonie, and on April 16 an operation which will probably be renewed for the sixth time which is known as “Goût de France – Good France “. A second that may showcase French gastronomic excellence all through Portugal.
What are the subjects that entice your most consideration within the context of political and societal life in Portugal?
We adopted the legislative elections with nice curiosity. So far there was a “Portuguese mannequin” from which different international locations have been impressed. There’s a Portuguese specificity in political life which could be very attention-grabbing. On the political stage, one of many questions I want to handle is that of abstention: extra important in Portugal than in different European international locations. The issue of youth can also be necessary to me: we all know properly the individuals who have duties and who are sometimes a sure age, however at present I’d have extra issue in telling what the goals of Portuguese youth are. I discover it necessary to strive, little by little, to raised know and perceive these new generations.
The French neighborhood has grown considerably in recent times, what influence does this have on Franco-Portuguese financial relations?
Sure, certainly, the rise in tourism is critical. The very brave means during which Portugal emerged from the financial disaster it skilled had a outstanding attractiveness impact. French corporations are creating the actions they already had right here, or have come to settle within the nation. The embassy notes this curiosity of French corporations, seeks to assist them but additionally to animate a rising enterprise community, so it is a larger accountability for us. On the collective stage, their representatives who’re energetic: the Chamber of Commerce, the Overseas Commerce Advisers and extra particular associations. This enthusiasm just isn’t solely French: the English, the Brazilians and the Germans are additionally very current right here.
There’s additionally the consular elections in Portugal on Might 17, which concern the representatives of the French residing right here. This will probably be an necessary deadline for the French in Portugal this 12 months.
Lastly, as my predecessor had achieved, I’m eager to open the Palace of Santos, the seat of the French Embassy in Lisbon, to the utmost, for political, cultural, financial and social initiatives. All of the proposals that may come from one another are welcome in order that this embassy, which is a spot in France, is as accessible as doable.
With the collaboration of Guillaume Bermond