“I believe we should be proud to be French. Neither with arrogance nor with a false sense of modesty, honestly acknowledging the difficulties we are facing yet not giving in to despair.”
Between November 15 and 17, 2011, Mr. Edouard Courtial, Minister of State responsible for French Nationals Abroad, visited New York, his third round of visits on his American tour.
After meeting with the members of the Assembly for French Nationals Abroad, Mr. Courtial encountered the New York French Community at a reception given by the Consulate General. “I wished to meet you upon my arrival in order to present my mission to you, and to hear, from you, of your preoccupations and your ambitions.”
Education and Economy were the two strong themes of this first New York visit, a field visit paid to those who daily contribute to enhancing the French influence in New York.
On Wednesday, November 16, Mr. Courtial paid a visit to the Lycée Français, the French-American Charter School of Harlem, and the University of Columbia. He was thus able to meet the different establishments’ Directors, Professors, and Representatives of the Student- Parents’ Board: so many meetings involving the large offer of bilingual programs in New York and that of inter-school and university exchanges.
“Financial crisis, economic crisis, budgetary crisis, none spared either Europe or the United States. In such circumstances, both our countries must show the same level of determination”, Edouard Courtial had declared upon his arrival. In order to bring up the economic situation, as well as the situation of French companies, on the agenda, the Secretary of State had lunch with the Board of the French-American Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, November 16, before meeting the following day with the Counselors of foreign commerce.