Category: News

The ID card gets a new format

The ID card gets a new format

Anyone who has recently renewed their ID card may have noticed that it now looks different. The large blue card has become white and the size of a bank card, with an electronic chip. Why has this changed? And how is this new ID card different?

Since March 2021, the new ID card has gradually been adopted throughout France. Smaller than its predecessor, its new format is prescribed by a European regulation that states that from 2nd August 2021, all ID cards issued by the European member states must be of this size and contain a certain number of safeguards. This is primarily about fighting fraud and identity theft more efficiently. The electronic visual stamp with state signature, as well as the electronic chip, are part of this security measure. Another change is that the period of validity of the ID card will be reduced from 15 to 10 years.

In practice, this means that you do not have to renew your ‘old format’ card if it is still valid. From 2031, however, it will no longer be possible to travel within Europe with the old ID card.

Do you have French nationality and live in Baden-Württemberg? Then the renewal of your identity card may be possible in the office of the Honorary Consul in Freiburg.

More information: http://de.ambafrance.org/-Cartes-nationales-d-identite-et-passeports-

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Can you miss out on Franco-German cooperation if you want to train in Freiburg?

Franco-German day care centre, Franco-German primary school, Franco-German high school: how could one miss out on the Franco-German cooperation, if they want to train in Freiburg?

Freiburg im Breisgau is particularly spoiled when it comes to binational educational programmes. The city actually has no fewer than three binational schools, two Franco-German bachelor programmes and three master programmes, which were developed thanks to agreements between the France Centre of the Albert Ludwig University (Freiburg) and the French universities. An insight into a very ambitious cooperation.

“As a child, you will learn languages ​​quickly,” it is said again and again. But who still remembers the language lessons from their school days? Not many. However, the students who attend one of the three Franco-German schools have more chances than others to be fluent in both languages. In fact, the Franco-German day care centre in Freiburg (l’École maternelle franco-allemande de Freiburg), the Franco-German primary school in Freiburg (l’École Elémentaire Franco-Allemande de Freiburg) and the Franco-German high school Freiburg im Breisgau (le Lycée Franco-Allemand Freiburg im Breisgau) all have a common goal: to train young people to be bilingual, bicultural and able to continue their studies in one of the two systems, either French or German. To achieve this goal, the teaching and administrative staff themselves are German-French and the courses are held in both languages.

These schools also share something else; they belong to a larger, worldwide network of French schools, the so-called Agence pour l’enseignement Français à l’Etranger (AEFE, Agency for French Education Abroad). This agency encompasses more than 500 schools and high schools around the world whose educational programmes have been recognised by the French Ministry of Education. The Franco-German Gymnasium in Freiburg im Breisgau boasts another special feature: it is also part of the network of German-French Gymnasium schools. Three Gymnasium schools in France and Germany make up the network, consisting of the Gynasiums of Buc (France, Académie de Versailles), Saarbrücken (Saarland) and Freiburg (Baden-Württemberg). They are considered to be the first implementation of the Elysee Treaty of 1963 and are viewed as a model for Franco-German cooperation in the field of education. The school programme that is taught here is unique, as well as the Abitur that students take in 12th grade. Both are the results of intergovernmental negotiations that took place in 1972.

After high school comes the university and it is there, too, that the opportunity is given to complete with a binational diploma. The Franco-German University (DFH) offers two Bachelor programmes and three Masters degrees, some of which take place in France and some in Freiburg (France Centre, Albert Ludwigs University or University of Education). The DFH has a unique model: the institution was founded in 1992 to promote binational programmes. More than 200 colleges and universities belong to this network and 6,400 students take part in one of the DFH programmes every year.

The offer is great. There is a suitable German-French training course for every age and every taste, and Freiburg is particularly pioneering in this area. So no, it is actually impossible to miss out on the Franco-German cooperation if you want to study in Freiburg!

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University programmes, markets and pétanque: the diverse partnership between Aix-en-Provence and Tübingen

University programmes, markets and pétanque: the diverse partnership between Aix-en-Provence and Tübingen

The 60-year partnership between Tübingen and Aix-en-Provence has successfully stood the test of time. The agreement, signed in 1960, aims for close cooperation in the fields of culture and cultural heritage. The two university cities are the setting for a diverse and sometimes surprising partnership initiative. Whether pupil, student, culture lover or sports fan, there is something for everyone.

‘Aix’ and Tübingen are primarily university cities, and it is this special feature that is at the heart of the partnership. In addition to the exchange of schools, the two cities are at the origin of a unique and original university course. Bearing the name TübAix, it enables students in France (University of Aix-Marseille) and Germany (Eberhard-Karl University of Tübingen) to study history in order to obtain a double degree.

However, the aim of this partnership is also to share the identity and folklore of a city with its partner city. The tradition of markets, which is very important in Aix-en-Provence, is a good example of this. Every year French manufacturers and retailers bring the sunny taste of the south to the Tübingen ‘Umbrisch-Provenzalischen Genusstagen’ (Umbrian Provincial Days of Indulgance). In return, when Christmas comes, German retailers will delight visitors at Aix’s ‘Internationalen Markt der Partnerstädte’ (International Market of Twin Cities) with pretzels and mulled wine. It’s not just food that brings cities together, however, but also art and literature. In the cities of Cezanne and Manet it would be unthinkable not to have art and paintings. The Leonard et ses amis association, which brings together hobby painters from Aix, has a close relationship with a hobby painters association from Tübingen. Exhibitions are organised in both cities every year. The members now know each other very well and want to meet again and again. That too is part of the partnership between the two cities.

Even petanque has crossed the border. The famous sport from Marseille has found enthusiastic players in the Tübingen club “La Fanny Joyeuse e.V.”. One question remains: when will the tournament between the twin cities take place?

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Enterprise Europe Network: local companies are looking for international opportunities

Enterprise Europe Network: local companies are looking for international opportunities

The Enterprise Europe Network is an information and advice centre that was created in 2008 by the European Commission. With this framework, 3,000 experts from 60 different countries support SMEs who wish to develop international business and project partnerships.

The network relies on local branches, most of which are located in the regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry. For the French border region Grand Est, for example, there are two contact points, the regional ‘Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie’ (CCI) and Grand E-Nov+, which in turn is a branch of the CCI. The geographical location of this region, on the border with three countries, creates an special, international openness. For Ursula Martin, lawyer and consultant, “the natural market for these companies is cross-border”. “For an Alsatian company, for example, Germany is closer and easier to reach than some regions in the south of France,” she continues.

The challenge of EEN support is to take these companies even further, both geographically and in terms of their ability to innovate. The accompaniment begins with an assessment, which is then used as the basis for the accompaniment. Together with the companies, the consultants work on a strategy by offering training courses, particularly in the area of ​​legislation, but also providing assistance in applying for financing or in preparing (international) applications. When they are ready, the companies are put in touch with potential business partners.

More information: https://een.ec.europa.eu/

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The ‘EuroRegion Alsace’, an administrative renaissance of Alsace

The ‘EuroRegion Alsace’, an administrative renaissance of Alsace

It is a small revolution that would take place in Alsace on 1st January 2021. It is true that the two departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin is united in a joint ‘Collectivité européenne d’Alsace’ (CeA). This community takes over the responsibility of the two departments and gains new privileges.

Long asked for, long awaited, this association was negotiated between the state government and local lawmakers from 2018. With the decision, Alsace actually wishes to present itself as a pioneer in the decentralisation process. But the experiment could have a successor, at least that is what the French government wants to aim for. “The community is ahead of tomorrow’s institutional scheme,” said Edouard Philippe at the end of October 2018 after signing the joint declaration on the CEA.

The community will primarily be endowed with specific educational skills. Of course, it will determine how it wants to teach the regional culture and bilingualism to the pupils and students. The authority over the highways and motorways, which the previous departments had not yet transferred (more than 300 km), is delegated to the community. This decision should allow local MPs to charge a fee for heavy commercial vehicles that have been congesting the region’s road network since 2005 and the introduction of a fee in Germany. The CEA will also be gaining new responsibilities in the field of tourism, with the community being able to promote its tourist activities throughout France and abroad, a particularly important point for this border district. The particular geographic location of the CEA also means that the central government might delegate which competences have responsibilities in the area of ​​cross-border cooperation. Through an Alsatian department council, the community can now determine the most important goals and questions of cooperation with Germany and Switzerland.

As a pioneer, with an influential regional tradition and strong cross-border roots, Alsace will perhaps be an example for other departments. Who will dare to follow in its footsteps?

More information: https://www.alsace.eu/

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Arte.tv: the new, European and free platform

Arte.tv: the new, European and free platform

Finally some good news in these difficult times: the streaming platform of the Franco-German television broadcaster Arte.tv offers free European TV series to the public. They are provided in the original language (with subtitles). It is the ideal opportunity to discover the great classics of the various genres or to get to know other styles.

The aim of this offer is simple: it aims to significantly rejuvenate Arte’s target group, who on average are older than 60 years. Young people are actually watching less and less television, instead being especially enthusiastic about Netflix series or HBO productions. Series are the audiovisual genre of the decade and Arte understands that too. But will the Franco-German television broadcaster be able to compete with the largest platforms?

“That is not the question,” says the editorial team of the television show. The model that Arte is promoting with this offer is unique. The aim is not to consume series like this on other platforms, the audience should rather take their time and simply “enjoy”. The content that is offered is not new, but is still relevant today.

Further information: https://www.arte.tv/de/

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