"Our mission is clear: to spark our foreign diplomat friends’ curiosity for France and, in doing so, to guide them as they discover it in all its diversity."
It is with great joy that I address you once again. This time it is in the context of a Presidency, as I was elected by the members of an association which I have devoted my enthusiasm and energy to for almost thirty years.
It has not been an easy phase, but with the help of all of us and the unfailing support of the Ministry, we have been able to weather the storm and begin to lay the foundations for what we want to continue.
Our mission is clear: to spark our foreign diplomat friends’ curiosity for France and, in doing so, to guide them as they discover it in all its diversity. Essentially, our mission does not change, but the tools we use must be refined.
Foreign diplomatic personnel in France have changed in recent years. Some of our foreign friends have a professional activity. Others no longer have the time to invest in learning a language that requires a lot of effort - those who do can testify to that! This is why, for example, our communication in English has been strengthened, if only to reach an audience that was previously kept away from our activities because of the language barrier.
BEF must also continue to play the hand of excellence, whereby contacts at the highest levels are crucial for our international friends to explore exhibitions, cultural events or visits to companies and heritage sites in the best possible conditions. It would otherwise not be feasible for us to achieve this to the highest of standards that we are constantly striving for.
We benefit from the remarkable help of all our group leaders who, on a pro bono basis, craft these results. I would like to thank them all once again for their sincere support.
My dearest wish is therefore to see our association continue along the steep paths that our President-Founder Marie-Thérèse François-Poncet had defined from the outset. With the support of the diplomatic community in Paris, may the years ahead allow us to get to know each other better, to exchange our experiences and to work together so that the world in which we live becomes more fraternal. This is not merely a plan, but beyond it, a state of mind: I know I can count on each of you, and this is precisely why these few thoughts can only end on a wonderfully positive note of hope.
Véronique Debieuvre, President