3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation
Of the twenty-two metropolitan régions, eleven are bordered with other countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Andorra. Therefore, cross- border relations are numerous and there is a long history of cultural, historical and linguistic activity (Flanders, Alsace-Lorraine, the Bavarian, Swiss and Italian Alps, Catalogne, the Pyrenees...). Cultural actions, exchanges of professionals and artists, performances, exhibitions, heritage projects, etc, are actions supported by the DRAC (see chapter 2.1) in collaboration with partners in the neighbouring countries.
The communities of rural or urban régions create contacts with their frontier counterparts in neighbouring countries. Local authorities participate in European programmes such INTERREG and in "Eurorégions" e.g. the Nord-Pas-de-Calais région is linked to Kent in the United Kingdom and the province of Western Flanders in Belgium, and engage in cultural activities exchanges with them. The Festivals of the Rhine, the Franco-Spanish "ferias", the inter-celtic festivals in Brittany (the festival of the "Old Plough" at Carhaix in Brittany, the festival of Lorient), are events which show the cross-border character of a number of cultural activities in France.
There is no specific programme targeted at the French diaspora abroad.
Universities in France participate in inter-academic programmes such as Erasmus, Socrates, Leonardo, etc.
France's cross-border relations concern not only culture, but also sports, employment, the environment and health and everyday life (binational families).
For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.