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U.S. State Department warns vigilance in Europe

November 18th, 2017 No comments

The U.S. State Department just sent out a travel alert for Europe from now till Jan. 31, 2018.

They want to make sure American citizens in Europe are especially vigilante about their travel plans and surroundings (especially holiday festivals and events), as there are ongoing terrorist threats in Europe.

I encourage you to go visit Europe – you’ll be thankful you did. Or, if you’re moving there or have just moved there – don’t worry but do be cautious about public gatherings. Don’t let this keep you from enjoying une bouteille de vin with your friends.

I’ve included the main contact information for citizens below. You can see full alert on the U.S. State Department website here. I also highly encourage you to make digital copies of your passport and travel documents, and register for the STEP program below. Travel wise! – Michael

United States Embassy

American Citizen Services Unit

4, avenue Gabriel

75382 Paris Cedex 08

France

Telephone in France: 01 43 12 22 22

Telephone from U.S.: (011 33) 1 43 12 22 22

Website:https://fr.usembassy.gov

American Citizen Services: e-mail – citizeninfo@state.gov

Brussels under attack: What you should know

If you somehow haven’t heard yet, ISIS (Daesh) terrorists carried out bombings at Brussels International Airport and a metro station downtown near the EU HQ on March 22. There are thought to be 34+ deaths and 200+ injured, with those tolls probably to rise as forensics teams struggle to identify victims.

Flights have been canceled in and out of Brussels, as well as Eurostar trains. Brussels metro system is also shut down. Contact your travel company for information on your individual plans. Belgian authorities are calling for vigilance.

You can see up-to-date coverage on media including France 24, BBC, NY Times, Economist, Flanders News (local) and CNN. I also recommend following the news on Twitter. For those of you who are American, I suggested registering for the US State Department travel alerts & warnings and their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The UK’s Foreign Ministry has a similar service, as does Australia.  Belgium’s Foreign Ministry and that of France are also great resources.

In addition to social  media outreach, diplomatic letters of support were sent the world over including from the US and France.

My thoughts and prayers with the families and victims of Brussels. I personally have over 20 friends there and luckily they are accounted for. I’ve been there several times and each time the Belgian people are very welcoming. My heart goes out to you.

 

 

FranceBelgiumSolidarity2016

Learn more about voting abroad at a Grenoble event March 2nd

France-Etats Unis Grenoble, an association for expats and French people alike living in the Grenoble area, is helping host an info session by Democrats Abroad in the historic city center of Grenoble. Information voting abroad will be abundant. Be sure to attend!

You can download a ballot, instructions and learn more as well as on their website.

Global Presidential Primary
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Café de la Table Ronde
7 Place Saint André, Grenoble
6-9 pm (GMT+1)

Gretchen Pascalis
Chair, Democrats Abroad Rhone-Alps
Vice President, France Etats-Unis Grenoble

See more about the local Rhone-Alps chapter of Democrats Abroad:

On the web
On Facebook
Join us on Meetup

Grenoble_Primary_Event_March2_2016

Categories: American, elections, US politics, voting Tags:

U.S. Embassy France important update for citizens

November 17th, 2013 No comments

I wanted to let my readers know that the U.S. Embassy in France recently posted this update regarding its citizen services in its offices outside of Paris. It will affect particularly those near the cities of Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse. Please visit their website for more information.

U.S. Embassy
Paris, France

Effective January 1, 2014, American Presence Posts (APPs) in Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse will no longer accept applications for U.S. passports and birth registrations, Social Security numbers or other federal benefits, or provide notarial services. After January 1, 2014 passport and birth registration applications and notarial services for U.S. citizens in those consular districts can be scheduled at either the U.S. Embassy in Paris or at the U.S. Consulate General in Marseille. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Paris for information on applications for Social Security numbers and other federal benefits.

The U.S. Mission to France will schedule periodic visits by consular officers to provide routine services to American citizens in the districts of APP Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse. We will publicize these visits to citizens actively listed in our Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP), so please ensure that you are signed up in order to receive notices about such services as well as other messages from the U.S. Government. U.S. citizens can enroll online at https://travelregistration.state.gov.

Wikileaks, Sarkozy and France’s reaction

December 12th, 2010 No comments

In this week’s Bonjour Paris, I write about the Wikileaks scandal and the reaction in France. Excerpts below. Click on original story for links.

France has not surprisingly reacted strongly to the leaks, and many French media sites have profiled the story. This site describes, among other things, how the cables match up with different geographic locations, especially given the fact that the vast majority of the 251,287 cables are not yet available.

President Nicolas Sarkozy was described by some American diplomats as “susceptible and authoritarian”, a view many of his countrymen hold but that is revealing to find in the inner circles of American statesmanship. But of course, these messages were not intended to be read all over the world by non-diplomats, and the U.S. is far from the only country with sensitive, potentially offensive, information in its inner diplomatic cables.

Sarkozy was also profiled as “the most pro-American” president in France since WWII, and in 2006 before he took office, he had suggested that France could possibly send in forces to Iraq to help their American counterparts. This gesture was well appreciated by the Bush Administration, even if it did not come to fruition. U.S. diplomats also characterize Sarkozy as the “most influential leader in Europe” who is a “brilliant, impatient, undiplomatic, unpredictable, charming, innovative pragmatic.” American authorities were also interested in Sarkozy’s Jewish heritage and how that could affect France’s Middle East policy (it is traditionally pro-Arab). But he is also described in a bad light as “impulsive and frenetic.” Now France is “scrambling” to avoid its own scandal similar to Wikileaks.

French media reaction to US midterms

November 3rd, 2010 4 comments

Following my post on US election coverage in France, the media is now reacting to the results: a convincing Republican victory in the House of Representatives, in state legislatures and governors races, whereas the Democrats held on to a majority – though not fillibuster proof of 60 – in the Senate. If you want inside DC news, I recommend Politico. BBC has a quality special report on the elections as well. The Economist also features an insightful debate about the outcome of the elections and what they could mean for US politics in the next couple years:

http://economist.pb.feedroom.com/pb-comp/economist/custom8/player.swf?Environment=&SiteID=economist&SiteName=TheEconomist&SkinName=custom8&ChannelID=13f850c882b46b0d9f3ebe670ff8fa7cade671c7&StoryID=1ff082cd3d0e256fa57b768554dab0c48cad8175&Volume=.5

On the French side, Le Figaro has a special report covering the people, the events and the US political system with insight. In an interesting poll asking readers if they are satisfied by the US election results, the responses are almost split: just over 50% say “no”, begging the question if readers of the Figaro are happy that Obama suffered a political setback, that the US government will be split or if they are relieved Democrats held on to the Senate. It would be better to have some context here.

France 24 gives a special video report on the results and presents complete coverage.

Libération has a special report on the elections as well. Le Point adds to the mix with interesting pieces on Obama and the GOP and the rise of the Tea Party.

Le Monde writes a feature on the same subject and gives an interesting video of how the elections were viewed from France.

Stratfor offers an interesting analysis of foreign views of the US midterms and Obama abroad.

US midterm election coverage from France

November 2nd, 2010 No comments

As US midterm elections take place today, there are several helpful sites with lots of information and insightful commentary, such as CNN, BBC, New York Times and The Economist.

But there is a fair share of sites in France, too. Le Figaro interviews Americans in Paris debating politics, talks about Obama campaigning for candidates, profiles young voters in the US who are disillusioned with politics, and features a midterm election special here.

Le Point talks about “the moment of truth for Obama” and you can also find information at Nouvel Obs, 20 minutes and a fantastic guide from France24. The US Embassy Paris also gives a guide.

A cultural comparison: French strikes v. American perspective

October 23rd, 2010 9 comments

I found this BBC article by Matthew Price, former US correspondent and current Europe correspondent, to be especially insightful, from the perspective of a neutral Brit regarding Americans and France. Comments welcome. Excerpts below….

What would Americans think of the French strike?
Saturday, 23 October 2010
By Matthew Price
BBC News, France

‎”For the last three years I have been based in the US. And the only protests I have covered, the only ones vocal enough to have been worth reporting on, have been angry mobs demanding the government stop spending and get out of their lives.

Now, just one week into my new role as Europe correspondent, I am faced with angry mobs demanding the exact opposite – an end to government cut backs and a promise that the state will continue to provide for them. Talk about a change of scene…..

…Most French know the world has changed since the days of the all-embracing welfare state..They know the age of austerity inevitably implies an age of personal responsibility….And personal responsibility is something the Americans I have lived among for the last three years have adopted as a way of life…”

US midterm elections: electronic voting from abroad for 25 states

October 12th, 2010 No comments

I got this message from the US Embassy in Paris concerning voting in the upcoming Nov. 2 US midterm elections.

Electronic Voting System Project
October 12, 2010

Attention U.S. citizen voters:

The following 25 states, or parts of these states, are participating in an Electronic Voting System project:

Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia

If you vote in one of these states/counties, you should follow the instructions in the attached Electronic Voting System Fact Sheet to find your respective state, and use all of the voting options available to you through www.FVAP.gov. Many of these state tools allow you to use a full ballot reflecting all contests (federal, state, and local). Follow the instructions for returning the voted ballot.

If you subsequently receive your blank state ballot from your state after submitting the online ballot, you should vote and return the state ballot immediately. The state ballot will take priority over the electronic voting project ballot if both are received by the state deadline.

If you have already received, voted, and returned your state ballot, you should not participate in this project.

If you have questions about this project, or about voting by absentee ballot from France, please contact the voting assistance officers by e-mail at: VoteParis@state.gov
or, at the following telephone numbers:

04 91 54 96 10
01 43 12 29 93
01 43 12 20 93
01 43 12 20 21

United States Embassy
American Citizen Services Unit
4, avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08
France
Telephone in France: 01 43 12 22 22
Telephone from U.S.: (011 33) 1 43 12 22 22
Website: http://france.usembassy.gov
E-mail: citizeninfo@state.gov

Vote absentee next week at US Embassy Paris for mid-terms

September 24th, 2010 No comments

I just got this email from the US Embassy in Paris for voting information:

Cast your vote now for the November 2, 2010 general elections.

Absentee Voting Week is September 27 – October 2, 2010. During this week, the U.S. Embassy in Paris will have a Voting Station at the Consulate where you can ask questions, fill out absentee voting registration forms or submit your voted ballot.

Please share this information with all eligible U.S. citizens voters residing in France.

You can read more on this PDF that I’ve put up for you.

Dual citizens can vote too!

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