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Italy-France Joint Statement. Meeting of the Mixed Cultural Commission (27 February 2024)

Culture represents a fundamental bridge towards strengthening bilateral relations and building a common European culture, as demonstrated by the “Nouveau Grand Tour” programme, supporting the mobility of Italian, French and European artists.

In this spirit, the Italian-French Mixed Cultural Commission, composed of representatives of the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Culture, Education, University and Research, and the departments responsible for promoting youth exchanges and sport, was held yesterday, 27 February 2024, in Rome.

The Commission, envisaged in the Quirinal Treaty and implementation of the Bilateral Cultural Agreement, examined the numerous initiatives underway and planned projects and new actions that could, in the coming months, further strengthen bilateral cultural cooperation, which is already benefiting various sectors of the two countries’ societies.

Among the initiatives discussed, concrete actions were shared to intensify the promotion of Italian and French teaching in both school systems and develop Italian-French centres of professional excellence.

As regards inter-university cooperation and research, work began on the preparation of the ministerial meeting scheduled for the second half of 2024, and its objectives and themes were examined in depth. The joint commitment to strengthen Italian-French universities and work together to develop alliances between European universities further was also confirmed.

The Commission expressed its commitment to consolidate cooperation between Italy and France in the cultural field, emphasising that culture represents a fundamental bridge for strengthening bilateral relations and for building a common European culture, as demonstrated by the “Nouveau Grand Tour” programme, supporting the mobility of Italian, French and European artists.

About sport, the opportunity to share everyday experiences in the organisation of major events, from the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the Milan and Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and to boost the existing cooperation between the anti-doping agencies NADO and AFLD was emphasised.

The Commission plans to monitor the progress of relations in the cultural sphere in the coming months through a regular consultation mechanism between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, aiming to increase collaboration between the two countries and raise the already high “cultural exchange” between Italy and France.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place in France in 2025.

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