Areas of collaboration

Cooperation between France and Québec is the concrete manifestation of deep-rooted affinities. During the Quiet Revolution, cooperation between France and Québec was centred on the education and culture sectors and contributed a great deal to modernizing Québec society. Today, their cooperation allows the French and Québec governments to promote their own interests, while considering those of the other government. Their cooperation has changed in step with changes in both societies and the needs of their respective citizens and has spilled over into many other sectors of activity.

University and scientific cooperation

Québec’s first international agreement was signed in 1965 to promote university professor and researcher exchanges, provide continuing education opportunities for teachers, develop education programs and permit greater mobility for students. Several agreements and initiatives were developed thereafter to support university cooperation:

  • the creation of the Centre de coopération interuniversitaire franco-québécoise (1984-2008);
  • the creation of the Conseil franco-québécois de coopération universitaire (2008).

In addition, many bilateral agreements between colleges and universities (especially between laboratories and research centres) have been signed, which has made it possible for thousands of Québec and French students to cross the Atlantic to take advantage of exchange opportunities that now go well beyond the framework of the CPCFQ.

Within the institutional channel of university cooperation, three main agreements have improved student mobility between France and Québec:

  • The CREPUQ Agreement
    Since 1984, Québec and French universities have become part of the exchange agreement of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Québec Universities (CREPUQ), which is designed to encourage and facilitate exchanges by Québec and French university students. This agreement allows students who are enrolled full time at a university to spend a semester or one year at an institution in the other country and enjoy a number of benefits.
  • The framework agreement between France and Québec on the recognition of diplomas and the validation of studies
    This agreement was signed in 1996 to promote student exchanges between Québec and France by setting terms and conditions for reciprocal recognition of diplomas and the validation of studies. The mutual recognition of diplomas is instrumental in increasing the number of exchange students.
    See: Explanatory document
  • The framework agreement on co-supervised theses between institutions of higher learning in Québec and France
    Signed in 1996, this agreement is designed to promote doctoral student mobility by setting the terms and conditions for co-supervised theses between institutions of higher learning in Québec and France. More specifically, it allows doctoral students to work with two thesis supervisors, one in Québec and the other in France, and to receive a doctorate from both institutions after defending their thesis just once.
    See: Explanatory document

The following calls for projects and applications in the area of university and scientific cooperation are made in connection with the CPCFQ:

  • The Samuel De Champlain Program is intended for academics and professionals working at research centres and institutes in Québec and France. It supports the international mobility of researchers and students participating in France-Québec research projects. This program supports France-Québec cooperation projects in research, science and technology.
    See: CFQCU (in French only)
  • The Frontenac Program awards mobility scholarships to doctoral students participating in a France-Québec co-supervised thesis program. This program was created in 1986 and is administered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologie (FRQNT).
    See: Frontenac program
  • The Prix de thèse en cotutelle is awarded for the best theses produced under the France-Québec co-supervised thesis agreement. In collaboration with the ACFAS, the Association francophone pour le savoir, these CAD $1,500 awards are given every year to one Québec and one French student.
    See: Prix de thèse en cotutelle
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Since the first agreement on cultural cooperation was signed in 1965, culture has been at the centre of French and Québec relations. To this day, culture is still one of the most productive and animated areas of cooperation between France and Québec. Artists, organizations and businesses continue to develop more and more collaborative projects in the area of culture, which can include everything from heritage, digital arts and literature to visual arts, performing arts, song, music and film.

France-Québec relations in the area of culture enjoy a great deal of visibility, especially the Québec cultural activities that are carried out on French territory. As a result, many Québec artists and authors have made themselves known to wider audiences in France. Beyond the multitude of promotional activities, the talent of Québec artists is on display in numerous co-productions by France and Québec and is often honoured at major cultural festivals and events. Québec’s largest documentary fund abroad, the Bibliothèque Gaston-Miron, which is open to the public, has also been located in France since 1964.

Several years ago, Québec and France began to work together in the area of culture and sustainable development. In 2010, given their joint interest in this issue, they agreed at the alternating meetings of the Premier of Québec and the Prime Minister of France to organize an international symposium on this topic. This event took place on 22 and 23 November, 2012 in Paris. Coordinated by the French and Québec departments of culture, this symposium was attended by representatives from many different countries and is designed to develop innovative practices, create new partnerships and contemplate strategies for achieving greater recognition and solidifying the connection between culture and sustainable development.

In addition to enhancing bilateral relations, cooperation between France and Québec has turned out to be a key driver in promoting cultural diversity at the multilateral level. In fact, the work of the France-Québec Working Group on Cultural Diversity created in 1998 has contributed a great deal to the development of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This convention, which was adopted in 2005, entitles States and governments to maintain, develop and implement policies in support of culture. France is Québec’s longstanding ally in implementing the UNESCO Convention.

Québec culture is promoted and disseminated in France thanks in large part to support from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC), the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), which takes the form of various financing programs for artists, organizations and businesses. Furthermore, the DGQP provides promotional support to Québec artists who come to France and boosts relations between French and Québec stakeholders in the cultural sector.

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Environment and sustainable development

Québec and France share many concerns about sustainable development and the environment. National and international issues affect both governments, which have both openly committed to fighting against climate change and developing strategies to promote sustainable development actions.

In 2008, Québec's Premier and France's Prime Minister agreed to develop and strengthen an avenue for cooperation in sustainable development and the environment. In 2009, a high-level working group was created to establish institutional ties and foster the development of joint cooperation projects.

Cooperation between France and Québec in the area of sustainable development and the environment has made it possible to carry on approximately ten projects with the following themes: biodiversity conservation, public policies on development, the fight against and adaptation to climate change, economic instruments for the environment, green technologies linked to residual materials and integrated water management by hydrographic basins and coastal areas.

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Québec and France have common interests in health. Both governments are concerned by a number of issues that affect the daily lives of their populations, such as aging and loss of autonomy, the regionalization of the health care system and new health care technologies.

Cooperation between France and Québec in the health care sector makes it possible to sustain projects that aim to improve practices and services with the following themes: drug dependence and addictions, disability issues, orphan diseases and rare medication, weight problems and lifestyle habits, and telemedicine. Created in 2001, the Observatoire franco-québécois de la santé et de la solidarité provides tools for public policies and guides cooperation projects.

See: L’Observatoire franco-québécois de la santé et de la solidarité

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Northern Québec Development

In October 2011, Québec’s Premier and France’s Prime Minister issued a joint declaration on the Northern development plan. Three working groups were set up within the Groupe franco-québécois de coopération économique to monitor cooperation. Furthermore, the Commission permanente de coopération franco-québécoise (CPCFQ) has incorporated the Northern development in its various calls for projects.

Text of the joint declaration on the Northern development plan (French only)

Northern Québec Web site

Other cooperation activities between France and Québec:

In addition to the cooperation projects supported by the Commission permanente de cooperation franco-québécoise (CPCFQ), a number of other initiatives are creating closer ties between Quebecers and the French.

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The importance of foreign investments is what best characterizes the economic relations between Québec and France. There are hundreds of French subsidiaries established in Québec and over 140 Québec companies with locations in France. In addition, in recent years, France has ranked 4th and 5th among Québec’s top international trading partners.

Their economic cooperation includes many partnership projects between Québec fields of excellence and French competitiveness clusters. These projects are supported through symposiums and the Fonds franco-québécois pour la coopération décentralisée (FFQCD). Since 2008, their economic cooperation has also benefitted from the activities of the Cercle des dirigeants d'entreprises franco-québécois (CDEFQ), which creates special meetings between corporate executives of Québec firms in France and French firms active in the Québec market.

The UBIFRANCE-Québec program facilitates the negotiation and signing of industrial partnership agreements between French and Québec SMEs. Set up over 40 years ago, the program is co-directed and co-financed by Agence UBIFRANCE and the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation du Québec (MDEIE).

Web sites of interest:

Cercle des dirigeants d'entreprises franco-québécois

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Every year, Québec hosts between 250,000 and 350,000 French tourists. They are the largest group of Europeans to visit Québec. They visit a wide range of tourist attractions in the various of regions of Québec, including some of the most remote. The French spend more money and time on average in Québec than their European counterparts. The Québec and French governments are working together in an effort to improve their respective tourism opportunities.

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According to immigration statistics, the French are one of the largest groups to make their home in Québec: In the last four decades, nearly 100,000 French have come to Québec to live, thereby helping to preserve its distinctive linguistic heritage and promote its demographic and economic development.

In recent years, Québec has stepped up its efforts to promote itself in France as an immigration destination and has seen significant results. In fact, between 2006 and 2010, 18,220 French moved to Québec.

Québec immigration statistics

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Professional mobility

Two professional mobility agreements have been signed with France and are currently in force. In October 2008, an agreement on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications was signed by the Premier of Québec and the President of the French Republic. Under this agreement, France and Québec specifically agreed to use a common procedure for recognizing professional qualifications in order to make it easier and faster to obtain the legal authorization required to practice a regulated professional or trade in France and Québec.

In November 2010, another agreement was signed to create a professional mobility zone between Québec and France. This agreement on professional mobility and immigrant integration was intended to streamline the formalities for entering and staying in the respective territories, provide greater access to employment opportunities and assist immigrants in entering the job market.

Source : MICC

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Last update: 2021-01-20 4:28:47 PM