the UK for
Marine Shah, Director
Colonel (Retired) Geoff Wright,
Senior Adviser, Franco-British
Defence Conference 2018
The Franco-British Council is an independent organisation based in Paris and London. Our mission is to reflect the wide relationships between the two nations and promote constructive dialogue for enhanced future collaboration.
The Council was founded in 1972 on the joint initiative of President Georges Pompidou and Prime Minister Edward Health, in a context of a developing Europe and of an increasingly globalised community. Since then, it has dedicated itself to the promotion of a better mutual understanding and the development of joint action through bringing together leading representatives of the worlds of culture, politics, defence, science, education and business.
While the UK and France enjoy a long history of alliance and friendship, there is also a persisting cultural mistrust, a perception, often hidden behind jokes and clichés, that the nations can’t understand each other. The Council was formed to help confront these preconceived notions and encourage a better understanding between the two nations, leading to a more positive relationship, a greater dialogue and a more productive collaboration.
More than 40 years after its creation, in the current geopolitical context and Brexit, the Council’s mission resonates even more. Now more than ever, strong ties need to continue to be built between both nations, providing even more opportunities for people to engage at all levels.
The Council is a non-governmental organisation with charitable status. It has a bilateral governance with members and trustees in both countries. It receives funding from the British and French governments and generous partners.
Today, we deliver our mission through:
The Franco-British Young Leaders
and Local Leaders Programmes
History has taught us that whatever the challenges we have faced, France and Britain have remained close. The stronger the ties between the leaders of the two countries, the more prosperous the relationship will be.
With this in mind, the Council selects the best talents on both sides of the Channel and gives them the opportunity to meet, share their experiences and join a transformational network with access to excellence. These young leaders will shape the future of Franco-British relations and the programme provides a unique platform of influence. The programmes were announced by Prime Minister Cameron and President Hollande at the Amiens Summit in 2016.
Informed debates on key areas of cooperation
Since 2010, the Franco-British Defence Conference has brought together high profile representatives from the military, government, industry and academia from both sides of the Channel to share ideas and discuss current issues in the defence arena.