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Bonj(o)u(r) The glocal news magazine on France June 2012 France Art New President sworn inGreat exhibition at at the Elysée Palace the Musée d’Orsay Page 2 Page 3

France and Malta Cultural and personal links that have built strong bonds across the ages. Page 4

Special event France bestows highest civilan honour on exUN Assistant Secretary General Page 5

In-depth TARA Oceans, a scientific adventure to save the planet’s oceans Page 8

Calendar A quick look at the Maltese-French calendar

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Abela, my meeting with Prime minister Lawrence Gonzi, Deputy Prime minister Tonio Borg, other minsters, mayors, artists, etc. I retain the same impression : an island-nation with a distinct identity based on its unique history but intimately similar at times to Mediterranean nations such as The first weeks are the most crucial France. ones for a diplomat posted in a Between Malta and France, we country. It is during this period have more in common than our that our ideas on the country based shared destinies thorough the EU, on research and exchange of ideas the Euro and the Shenghen area. are confronted with the realities on We have a common history since the ground. I have always relished Malta was part of the Anjou this intense period of introductions possessions, the arrival of Villiers and interactions in all my previous d’Isle-Adam, the commerce with postings. the Mediterranean or the eventful In Malta, I must say that it is six days of Napoleon Bonaparte. unique. Since my arrival here in We also share the same vision for February, I have this feeling of the Mediterranean rim especially familiarity blended with when it comes to the importance of singularity. From my presentation democracy and rule of law, the of credentials to President George reason why we see eye to eye on Bonj(o)u(r)

events in Syria. On the international scene, our nations firmly believe that an increase of multilateralism is an inevitable and welcome feature of our times that opens up new fields of action for diplomacy. The Rio+20 conference to be held next week is an example of this shared vision where France will seek to garner support for the creation of a UN agency for the environment that will be responsible for coordinating all of the environmental conventions that currently coexist in order to strengthen and stabilize international environmental law. We need to make progress as we owe our children a safer and cleaner planet. Michel Vandepoorter French Ambassador to Malta

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François Hollande Elected President of the Republic

François Hollande was inaugurated as France’s President on May 15. He delivered his first speech as head of state at the Elysée Palace, the Presidential residence, the same day. © ANGLOIS-POOL/SIPA

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Degas and the Nude O

his is the first major

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exhibition to be devoted to Edgar Degas (1834-1917) in Paris since the 1988 retrospective at the Grand Palais. Degas and the nude ties in with the MusĂŠe d'Orsay's ambition to publicise the latest teachings on the great masters of the late nineteenth century, and follows the institution's homage to Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Edouard Manet (1832-1883).

dancers and horses a prominent position in the work of the artist, the nude is presented in all of the techniques practiced by the artist, painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and especially pastel, in which he would achieve his highest degree of perfection.

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his exhibition explores

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ake this opportunity to

see in one place a selection of some of the very best works of this much-loved artist, works which have been lent by some of the greatest museums all around the world.

the evolution of Degas in the practice of the nude throughout the artist's long career, from an academic approach and the history of For more information, please its beginnings to the point at visit: www.musee-orsay.fr which the body shifts into modernity.

All images protected by copyright of respective owners

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French Connection A quick look at a part of the French history in Malta, the Auberge de France in Birgu During the period of the Order of the Knights of St John in Malta, France was a single nation. However, there were three-French speaking communities grouped under three different Langues: Auvergne, France and Provence.

architect accompanying the Order in Malta.

When the Knights settled in Birgu and made it their capital city, the auberges were built along or close to the main street called Strada della Castiglia (now Hilda Tabone Street).

After the Knights left Birgu for Valletta in 1571, the French Langue built a larger auberge. Soon the Auberge in Birgu became a private property, then used as a communal school in the first years of the British period and finally declared a state property. During the Second World War, the Auberge de France in Valletta was destroyed.

The Auberge de France with its ornate faรงade by Bartolomeo Genga has a Renaissance-style ceiling and a very sophisticated staircase. The first structural adaptations to the Auberge de France are attributed to Nicolo Flavari, the

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On the front door of the Auberge de France, the fleur de lys, the of original emblem depicting the French royalty that sent its sons to serve the Order can still be seen.

The remarkably restored Auberge de France in Birgu now houses the Birgu local Council and hosts now and then art exhibitions.

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Michael Zammit Cutajar received on Tuesday 5th of June, the highest decoration in France, for his international engagement on climate change. Malta’s former Ambassador for Climate Change was made a Knight of the Légion d’honneur by Ambassador Michel Vandepoorter, at his residence in !ebbu", where about 130 people attended the ceremony. The French Ambassador reminded in his speech that “The Government of Malta, the EU Commission, the World Bank, have all benefitted from his advice and recommendation to address climate change”. Indeed, Mr. Zammit Cutajar devoted most of his career to work in and around the United Nations on international cooperation for development and environment. In 1991, he set up the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and headed it until his retirement in 2002, holding the rank of Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. “It is for this resolved engagement, for your tenacity and the talent with which you helped the difficult cause of the climatic change to progress on the international scene, that the President of the French Republic has decided to confer on you the distinction of Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur”, Mr Vandepoorter added at the end of his speech. The Légion d’honneur ceremony coincided with the 40th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment that opened on June 5, 1972, in Stockholm, which Mr. Zammit Cutajar had attended. This day is now celebrated as World Environment Day, as the French Ambassador said, adding that it was hence very fitting that this day was the day Mr Zammit Cutajar becomes a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. The ceremony was graced by the presence of President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami, who holds the rank of Commander in the Légion d’honneur and ministers George Pullicino and Mario de Marco. It was extensively covered in English-language and Maltese-language newspapers.

H:5#))#,0"'-&*%0:&)'+(&'E#*+&)&C!"&$%('R(#:5&"'01'R0::&"%& The newly-elected bureau of the Maltese-French Chamber of Commerce, headed by former Ambassador to France Mark Miggiani, paid a visit to Ambassador Michel Vandepoorter soon after he presented his credentials. The meeting focussed on innovative ways to improve commercial links between the two countries. The Ambassador congratulated the members of the bureau on their election and assured them of his full support to intensify economic ties across the Mediterranean. France is Malta’s fourth important trade partner and a sizeable number of French companies have invested in Malta over the years especially in the field of electronic components, shipping, financial services and tourism. ! ! Bonj(o)u(r)!

© French Embassy

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French-speaking Maltese win trips to the French world of culture and arts

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Eco-Businesses Broad Array of French F r e n c h In-Country Companies Push for Global G r o w i n g , and Abroad Reach In the face of high global demand, French companies are expanding operations overseas in sectors such as agribusiness, aeronautics, pharmaceuticals, and information technology. French firms today are experiencing heightened success by providing technology and expertise within global markets that offer them immense room for growth. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), France’s net outflow of foreign direct investment totaled over €75 billion in 2010.

The business district of La Défense just outside Paris

A recent survey has shown that a large majority of French business executives rate international development as a key strategic priority for growth. French innovation abroad is especially developing in the environment, energy, and information and communications technology (ICT) fields. The increasing global presence of French enterprises can be felt in a diverse range of industries, from financial services and transportation to gastronomy and construction. While major French groups like Électricité de France (EDF) and Total help to meet the world’s energy needs while others like Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) satiate global demand for luxury goods, companies like Orange continue to lead in global telecommunications. French businesses have embraced the potential to increase competitiveness through international expansion. Thierry Courtaigne, Vice President and Director General of MEDEF International, a firm that represents the interests of top French businesses and corporations worldwide, said, “Globalization is a reality and French companies have to place their investments in buoyant markets.”

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In the past decade, French “ecoindustries,” or environmentallyfriendly sectors, have become a force to be reckoned with in the French economy. Protecting the environment has surfaced as a key issue in France, and the French government has encouraged the emergence of “green” industries by promoting their visibility and strength in the export sector.

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) ranks France as the fourth-largest ecoindustry market worldwide. French eco-businesses now employ approximately 300,000 people in France and are projected to add 10,000 to 15,000 jobs annually in coming years. On an average, French eco-industries spend 3% of their revenue on research and development. The French government has also allocated a total of 6 billion euros for the development of green industries. In response, French companies have shown a significant amount of green initiative that has increased their competitive advantage globally. Research has focused primarily in the fields of biofuels, sources of alternative energy, water and waste management, and energy storage. Innovations include gas treatment plants for incineration and a technique to bind gas molecules to solids to clean post-industrial emissions.

France has also taken its greentechnology expertise abroad. In the Chinese city of Wuhan, many of the 80 French companies that have invested in the area have adopted green technologies. In Shanghai, where China is looking to mitigate the effects of heavy industry, French companies have introduced efficient and eco-friendly manufacturing techniques to the highly industrial area.

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© AREVA

France has partnered with Great Britain to bolster each countries’ civilian nuclear industry—while at the same time creating jobs at home and abroad. Following a meeting between two countries in February, the leaders unveiled an ambitious bilateral project that will strengthen the Franco-British energy partnership. The nuclear branch of France’s main electricity firm, EDF Energy, will be developing plans to build four European pressurised reactors (EPRs) in the UK, organised in pairs at the country’s Sizewell and Hinkley Point sites. The plans enhance each nation’s already-strong reputation as a nuclear leader. Together, they possess 76 reactors and operate cutting-edge facilities covering the whole fuel cycle, a status unique among European civilian nuclear powers. To support the new plans, EDF Energy projects hiring 6,000 employees in the next four years. Once in full swing, the four EPR sites between Hinkley Point and Sizewell will require 20,000 workers between on- and off-site staff. By comparison, the United States provided 19.6 percent of its domestic energy needs via nuclear production in 2010, according to the Washingtonbased Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). The deal comes as the fruition of an initial cooperation agreement signed between Areva and Rolls-Royce, which are leading French and British manufacturers in the energy sector, in March 2011.

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TA R A O c e a n s : M a r i n e Research for the Planet’s Good What brings together marine biologists, the head of the United Nations, and a major fashion mogul? The answer is TARA Oceans, a French research ship that has been traversing 70,000 miles of the world’s oceans for two and a half years as it studies marine life, ecosystems, environmental change—and the delicate balance between the two. The ship, a 118-foot schooner equipped with state-ofthe-art navigation and research technology, that came to Malta in 2009 was in New York City this Spring to promote its cause at the United Nations and elsewhere. An affiliate of the UN’s Programme for the Environment, the TARA Oceans project combines a network of seven laboratories and the partnership of several American researchers in their efforts to make new discoveries about the world’s ocean life, and raise awareness of issues affecting the world’s greatest bodies of water.

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89:;",/6$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Not least among TARA Oceans’ multiple goals is outreach to people unaware of the issues the ship’s team seeks is researching. During its port call in New York City, UNSG Ban-Ki Moon, came aboard to visit the team. The crew took Mr. Moon on a tour of the Manhattan coast while various specialists gave a tour of the ship’s “dry lab” for field research as well as the boat’s living space, which is specially outfitted for travel through polar climates. Mr. Moon said he was “very moved” by his visit, and stressed his personal commitment to ocean issues and to the related initiatives © Tara Expéditions undertaken by UN agencies. A different but equally enthusiastic visitor also came to see TARA at port. The businesswoman Agnès b., from whom the global fashion brand gets its name (and fashionable spelling), attended the ceremonies at the UN and aboard the TARA, and wished the research team her very best.

!<-<$./6$)='$>,),&'$">$)='$4"&56?($"7'./($$$ The TARA will reach its final destination, the port of Lorient on France’s Atlantic coast, on March 31. Yet the TARA entering the Grand Harbour in 2009 © Tara Expeditions boat’s team will hardly be taking a break—in fact, !*/1$"&+./*(2(3$4"&564*6'$*2#"&)./7'$$$$$$$$ they’ve declared 2012 “the year for sharing the TARA The objective of the TARA Oceans expedition is to Expeditions” work with the world. A series of “identify the effects of global warming on planktonic and promotional events coral reef systems, and the consequences on food webs and have been coordinated marine life,” according to an official document from the in France and group’s website. elsewhere, the most TARA’s researchers have focused their research on notable being the plankton for the singularly important role this kind of s h i p ’s s c h e d u l e d organism plays. These tiny organisms, the scientists say, presence at the United supply roughly half of the world’s oxygen supply. This Summit on © D.R. (S. Bollet / Tara Expéditions) Nations means that variations in the amount of plankton living in Sustainable Development, or “Rio + 20,” next week in the world’s oceans could fundamentally impact how much Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference’s theme is “The oxygen is available to living things worldwide—including Future We Want,” and in the same vein, TARA Oceans humans—and could impose sweeping changes on a planet will be advocating the environmental decisions it in climate flux, which could affect everything from recommends to secure safe, sustainable ocean policies at endangered species to global air quality. the international level—for the global good.

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Parc André-Citroën Marks 20 Years with New Expansion The Parc André-Citroën, situated on the banks of the River Seine in Paris, will be marking its 20th birthday with the unveiling of an ambitious remodeling and expansion effort to be completed by the summer of 2013. The park, a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower, is a contemporary landscape with postmodern art and architecture combining geometric design with aquatic elements. The 3.9 million euro plan to rejuvenate the park involves increasing recreational capacity and turning the park into a more familyfriendly space. The west side of the park is specifically dedicated to picnics and a playground equipped with swings and table tennis facilities will be installed for children. The number of benches and chess tables will also increase, and food stalls will be added. Roughly three-quarters of the expanded space will feature plant life, with various sections of the park incorporating different varieties of plants. Throughout the park certain gardens are dedicated to styles of landscaping, such as the six Serial Gardens that consist of one colour combined with a related metal, planet, week, and water feature. © L'Internaute Magazine / Agathe Azzis

The renewal efforts will inject new energy into an already bustling tourism zone. A favourite spot of locals and Eiffel Tower visitors alike, the park, situated where the original Citroën car factory once stood, features a hot-air balloon station, which takes sightseers some 500 feet above the Parisian skyline. From there visitors can take in a panoramic view of the entire city, including some of its best-known landmarks such as Sacré Coeur and Notre Dame.

New Website Opens Window to Finest French Literature Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus often come to mind when thinking of famous modern French authors. FranceLivre, a new online portal published in April by France’s National Centre for Books, is looking to expand your French-lit vocabulary with their new online portal that brings the country’s best contemporary literature to the mostly anglophone internet. The new web location acts to promote new French literature, as well as figures from all sides of related industries. It is divided into five categories according to profession: publisher, author, translator, bookseller and librarian. Each section offers a gold mine of information on professional services, partner institutions and groups that, with the site as a shared resource, can work together to keep France’s book world going strong. And that’s not to say FranceLivre is focused only on French works, only in France. The site stresses its commitment to “fairness and reciprocity” as it tries to advance “French literature on the international stage and foreign literature in France in return.” Recent posts have included a profile of the book business in Senegal and the evolution of exporting French books to francophone and nonfrancophone countries alike. A part of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the National Centre for Books has since 1946 worked to “ support all actors in the book publishing chain, including authors, broadcasters, publishers, bookshops, libraries, and literary events organisers,” according to the site. The agency offers some 42 million euros each year in subsidies, credits, grants and zerointerest loans.

Record exports for French Wines and Spirits French liquor exports reached record-high sales of 10 billion euros in 2011, a 10.5 percent increase from 2010, according to the French Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters. Despite an increase in prices, exports of trademark French alcohols have seen boosts in both the United States and Asia over the past year. Europe remains the largest market for French wine, but demand has especially increased in the Asian sector. Sales to China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore in 2011 collectively accounted for 29 percent of the total increase in French wine exports, and exports to the Asian market hit 2.5 billion euros. After the United States and Britain, China is the third-largest importer of French alcohol.European countries imported a total of 4.1 billion euros of French wine in 2011 (up 3 percent from 2010), and North and South America imported 2.1 billion euros of French wine this past year, a 9 percent increase. French wine has remained a strong export despite the rough waters of global finance. Louis Fabrice Retour, president of the federation, said, “The sector has weathered the [last few years] fairly well.” With a total trade surplus of 8.6 billion euros, the French wine and spirits industry is a ! significant contributor to France’s trade balance. ! Bonj(o)u(r)!

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A selection of events that highlighted Franco-Maltese relations so far this year For more information, please visit www.ambafrance-mt.org

Ambassador presents his credentials to President George Abela (March)

Agnès Pyka and Bruno Robilliard in concert at the Manoël theatre (May)

Victoria mayor Samuel Azzopardi welcomes French Ambassador in Gozo (May)

Duo Agnès Pyka on violin and Edouard SapeyTriomphe on violoncello at the Bir Miftuh festival (June)

«!Histoires Insolites de Paris!» : Reading by Philippe Guinet (June)

FranceinMalta, That’s us on Twitter ! Since last year, the French Embassy regulary tweets on MalteseFrench relations, on events organised by the Embassy and also on international events in which France plays an active and meaningful role. With about 650 followers, FranceinMalta aims to bring you timely, accurate and important information. Click here to join us : http://twitter.com/FranceinMalta

New website !!!

Bonj(o)u(r) France in Malta is also a vibrant website designed to give recent updates on diplomatic news, local embassy news and standard information like consular services. The site also contains new features as video and socialnetworking sites. Launched by the Press office of the embassy, the English-version pages have undergone a complete facelift offering a fullyfledged bilingual site that reflects the diversity of its visitors. The sites is visited by more than 500 individual users daily mainly from Malta and France and the numbers are growing by the day !

Editor-in-Chief Tudor Alexis Editorial team and contributors Luis Vassy, Dana Purcarescu, Camille Martin, William C. Fleeson

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