Estonian State Officials to Receive French Language Instruction


No. 151-E

Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet signed a co-operation agreement between Estonia and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie - OIF), on the basis of which Estonian state officials will be able to improve their knowledge of the French language for the next four years.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that this co-operation is extremely helpful. “Knowledge of the French language is very valuable in international communication and is occasionally a necessary requirement when standing for Estonia’s interests in the European Union. It is important for international integration to be as close as possible; this include contacts with countries in the French cultural space,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “One cannot get by in our open world without speaking other languages. Against a backdrop of constant globalisation, the importance of language learning is growing significantly. It is necessary if we wish to keep pace with the rest of the world,” he added.

From 1999-2009, language instruction programmes for state officials in Estonia were partially funded by the International Organisation of the Francophonie, the Republic of France, the French-speaking community of Belgium, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In 2010 Estonia became an observer state in the OIF. To date about 4 000 Estonian state officials have received French language instruction thanks to this co-operation.

Also present at the signing of the agreement were Imma Tor-Faus representing the International Organisation of the Francophonie, French Ambassador to Estonia Frédèric Billet, Belgian Ambassador Nicolaas Buyck, and Zénon Kowal representing Wallonia and Brussels.


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