The Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) recently issued its 2008-2009 progress report as well as the 2006-2009 overall report on the action plan stemming from Québec’s International Policy.
The 2008-2009 progress report provides updates on some 70 measures set out in the 2006-2009 action plan and undertaken by various government departments and agencies. It also includes the overall report on the action plan, which extended until March 31, 2009. In May of that same year, Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, unveiled the new 2009-2014 action plan.
The third and final progress report on the implementation of the 2006-2009 action plan spotlighted various achievements and events, most notably the hosting of the 12th Francophone Summit in Québec City in October 2008, which served to strengthen Québec’s influence on members of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF). In other multilateral initiatives, Québec continues to work within international organizations such as UNESCO and the Organization of American States.
Closer links with Europe were forged following the signing of the Québec-France agreement on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications—a groundbreaking move between Europe and North America—as well as through efforts to promote an economic partnership between Canada and the European Union, with negotiations kicking off in May 2009.
Relations with Québec’s North American partners were reinforced thanks to initiatives such as the creation of a secure driver’s licence (enabling holders to enter the US under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) and the opening of a services centre for Québec companies operating in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.
In the economic and trade fields, Québec conducted various missions to the emerging countries of Asia and Latin America and strengthened ties with various regional and state governments, such as the Chinese province of Shandong. In the cultural sphere, a number of major initiatives were undertaken to promote Québec artists, including the Orrizonte Québec biennial in Italy, Québec Cinema Week in San Francisco and the Étés de la Danse summer dance festival in Paris.
The 2006-2009 action plan also led to a reconfiguration of Québec’s network of international offices, including a stronger presence in Europe (Germany/Italy) and Asia (China/India).
Launched in 2006, Québec’s International Policy seeks to provide up-to-date strategies aimed at meeting challenges in a constantly changing world. It sets out five main goals: strengthening Québec’s capacity for action and influence; fostering Québec’s growth and prosperity; contributing to the security of Québec and the North American continent; promoting the identity and culture of Québec; and contributing to the cause of international solidarity.
2008-2009 progress report and overall report on the 2006-2009 action plan (in French, PDF)
Québec’s International Policy
2009-2014 action plan (PDF)