Launch of the "U.S.-France Leadership Dialogue"
French Embassy, Tuesday July 17, 2012.
Launch of the U.S.-France Leadership Dialogue : "Charting a Path Toward Sustainable Growth for the U.S. and France: Priorities for the Next Decade".
Congressman Bart Gordon,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It’s a great pleasure for my staff and for me to welcome you tonight to the inaugural presentation of the U.S.-France Leadership Dialogue. We expect that, in the course of the next two years, this program will become one of the main forums for the discussion of Franco-American relations.
We owe its very existence to the inspired vision and support of several individuals and institutions that I’d like to warmly thank:
Ambassador Stuart Holliday and David Klaus at the Meridian International Center;
The Richard Lounsbery Foundation and its President Ambassador David Abshire;
France-Amérique and its President Ambassador Alfred Siefert Gaillardin as well as Ambassador Jacques Andréani;
The French-American Cultural Foundation here in DC and its President, Leonard Silverstein.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe the starting point of your dialogue is that French-American relations, and this is good news, have never been closer than they are today. It’s true on the diplomatic and security front (…).
The economic partnerships between our two countries is also growing stronger every year (…).
So we see that the security challenges I was referring to as well as the meteoric rise of China and of the emerging world, all this brings us closer together. In this context, I believe we must think big – in a pragmatic way, but big – and pursue at least three objectives :
first, to bring the Franco-American partnership to another level. Examples: scientific partnership, university collaborations. The U.S. and France have to reflect and work together on the three technological revolutions that we are experiencing: energy and sustainable development; genetics and life sciences; the digital revolution.
Second, our two countries should work closely together to promote a better world governance. In our views, this goes through the combination of a more effective multilateralism (that’s why we are for example actively promoting the enlargement of the Security Council) and a new concert of powers (the G8 but also and more and more the G20…).
Third, in the economic domain, our two countries have the same priorities (promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in particular). It means new priorities for the transatlantic partnership (intellectual property rights, preventing several forms of dumping etc.).
In these challenging times, the values that our 2 countries share are more than ever our best tool, I would even say our best moral compass, to confront together the current challenges we face.
So I am confident that this program will be distinguished by the scope and depth of its enquiry and exchanges. The best guarantee of this is given to us tonight with the presence of some of the finest minds in the field of international relations and journalism.
It is a true privilege for La Maison Française and the Embassy to welcome:
Congressman Bart Gordon, Former Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology;
Jim Hoagland, a two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient who has a long relationship with my country;
Dr. Justin Vaïsse, Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
The next session will be held in Paris at the beginning of October. Ambassador Jacques Andreani and our colleagues from France-Amérique are working very hard to ensure the success of this seminar, and we are hoping that a French Minister will participate.
My warmest thanks again to all of you, and I wish you a great evening.