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European cooperation at the Institut français

Updated on 20/04/2023

One of the new missions entrusted to the Institut français on its creation was to affirm the European dimension of France's cultural action abroad.

Our objectives are as follows: 

  • To make the Institut français a visible, recognised and influential player on the European scene by increasing its partnerships and participation in European initiatives;
  • To develop the Institut's capacity to implement projects co-financed by the European Union by working to take greater account of European policies and objectives in our actions;
  • To raise the Network's and our partners' awareness of European priorities and policies on the one hand, but also of the cross-disciplinary issues supported by European institutions (Sustainable Development Goals, Culture and Development, social impact of projects, Green Pact for Europe, etc.). 

Institut français projects with a European dimension

The Institut français highlights European talent and develops numerous projects on a European scale. 

Adrien M & Claire B, ''Hakanai'' © Romain Etienne 2012

Among them is Teatroskop, a programme launched in 2011 by the Institut français, the French Ministry of Culture and the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs with the aim of boosting exchanges between France and South-East Europe (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey) in the field of live performance in its most contemporary and daring forms.

Impuls neue Musik

Since 2020, the Institut français has been supporting the Franco-German-Swiss fund for contemporary music, Impuls neue Musik, which supports exceptional musical projects that promote exchanges between German- and French-speaking linguistic and cultural areas.


Chasseurs de Fake News
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In 2021, the Institut français joined the project initiated by the Goethe-Institut, Faktendetektive / Les Chasseurs de fake news, an online competition for young Europeans. The project is aimed at young people aged 15 to 19, learning French, German, Spanish or English as a foreign language in Germany, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. It aims to:

  • encourage young people from different European countries to discuss, analyse and expose fake news in a second language
  • to equip project participants with the above-mentioned skills and to give them a chance to exchange with peers from different countries (the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture[1] / RFCDC serves as a basis).
  • to offer young people a change of perspective, crossing borders and language barriers.


[1] The Framework has been developed by the Council of Europe and is aimed at stakeholders in education at all levels, from pre-school, primary and secondary education to adult education and vocational training.

Saison France Portugal
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To coincide with the Portuguese and French presidencies of the European Union in 2022, the France-Portugal Season will underline the proximity and friendship that bind our two countries, embodied in particular by the presence of a very large Luso-descendant community in France and a growing number of French expatriates in Portugal. The Season will offer an opportunity to talk about Europe and integration, about the values of inclusion, ecology, parity and equality that we share, and of course about culture and heritage from the perspective of new technologies and the cultural and creative industries (CCI).

European projects supported by the European Union

Since 2015, the Institut français has been running European cooperation projects, co-financed by the European Union, as a leader and as a partner, in which it promotes its internal expertise and, more broadly, French cultural engineering at an international level. The fields of action cover different areas and are implemented within continental Europe but also in the framework of the EU's external cultural strategy:

  • Film education and the promotion of European cinema (CinEd projects, European Film Factory, support to European film festivals implemented by the EU Delegations);
  • Support for youth and social entrepreneurship in 9 North African and Middle Eastern countries (Safir);
  • Support for the development of cultural and creative industries in West Africa (ACP-EU Culture Programme: Support to the cultural and creative sectors in West Africa - AWA);
  • The promotion of cultures from the European Union's outermost regions (ORs) and overseas countries and territories (OCTs) ( pilot project);
  • Mobility of artists and cultural professionals in Europe (i-Portunus pilot project, phases 1 and 2);
  • Strengthening transnational cooperation in order to create the conditions for real European integration in the professional field of theatre (Academix). 


Participation in European networks

The Institut français actively participates in EUNIC, the network of national cultural institutes of EU Member States.

EUNIC carries out European projects in consortium with its members such as Crossroads for Culture (C4C) and European Spaces of Culture.


The IF also participates in the informal initiative More Europe, working for the inclusion of culture in the external policy of the European Union.

The Franco-German dimension

Présentation du Fonds culturel franco-allemand
Présentation du Fonds culturel franco-allemand

The partnership with the Goethe-Institut is very strong, formalised by an agreement signed between the two institutions and responding to the important political challenges of consolidating Franco-German relations.


The Institut français also manages the Franco-German Cultural Fund (FCFA). Established in 2003 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, it encourages and supports cultural cooperation initiatives carried out in third countries by the diplomatic and cultural networks of both countries.

For almost twenty years, this fund has been promoting Franco-German cultural cooperation abroad by supporting projects carried out jointly by national cultural institutes and embassy cultural services on site, in close consultation with local cultural stakeholders. The areas of action are numerous and cover a variety of artistic fields: visual arts, performing arts, design, fashion, architecture, cinema, audiovisual, new media, literature, intellectual debates, etc.