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22 Oct 2009

First anniversary of Québec-France agreement

President Sarkozy and Premier Charest in Québec City on October 17, 2008.

Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, underlined in the National Assembly the first anniversary of the Québec-France agreement on mutual recognition of professional competence, signed in Québec City on October 17, 2008, by Premier Jean Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Since the signing of the text all of the professional orders and both boards responsible for regulated trades in Québec, in collaboration with numerous Québec government departments, have worked actively under the direction of the Ministère des Relations internationales to follow up the agreement. Québec and France have both passed the necessary legislation. In Québec, this step was completed in June 2009 with the adoption of the Act to provide for the implementation of the Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles and similar agreements.

Almost all of Québec’s regulated trades have now undergone a detailed review, carried out in collaboration with French government partners, aimed at determining whether they are compatible with trades in France and can be covered by a mutual recognition agreement (MRA). Eleven MRAs were signed in April 2009 and the remaining MRAs for regulated trades are on the drawing board and should be ready for signing in 2010. Under the heading of professions, all 45 professional orders concerned by the Québec-France agreement are involved in the efforts initiated by the Ministère des Relations internationales and the Office des professions. They are negotiating with their French counterparts, with the support of the Ministère des Relations internationales, and have signed seven MRAs so far. A grand total of 18 MRAs have been signed over the past year.

Starting in 2010, Québec citizens who ply a profession or trade for which an MRA has been signed will be able to apply to have their professional competence recognized in France. Close to a hundred professional authorities will have applied the common procedure between now and the end of 2010, leading to the signing of MRAs in globally equivalent fields and thus enabling quicker, easier access to regulated trades and professions.

In the words of Minister Arcand, “Since the signing of this historic agreement, representatives of the professional orders and regulated trades have shown exemplary mobilization, and I want to congratulate them on their dynamism during the entire process leading up to today’s anniversary. Thanks to this agreement, we are not only witnessing a new age of cooperation: as a federated state, we are also pointing to the path to follow for the coming years, both during the negotiations leading up to a new economic partnership between Canada and the European Union and in the broader framework of the United Nations system.”

Regulated trades and professions in Québec for which an MRA has been signed
Québec-France agreement on mutual recognition of professional competence
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