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Posts Tagged ‘foreign affairs’

U.S. Absentee Voting Deadline Oct. 6 + Lyon Consular update

For American citizens living abroad who wish to vote in the November 2014 US Elections, the absentee voting deadline is October 6th. Please find all relevant information here from the State Department.

Also, as of October 1st, 2014, the American Presence Post (APP) in Lyon is no longer accepting applications for U.S. passports and birth registrations, Social Security numbers and other federal benefits, and it will no longer provide notarial services. More information is available here.

Pew poll reveals Americans more chauvinistic than the French

November 18th, 2011 No comments

NB: This post is not intended to spark cultural tensions but give cultural insight. Of course, surveys are not perfect measurements, but they can provide perspective. I’m just sharing an interesting article here for cultural awareness, not to criticize the US or France.

The French have a reputation for being quite chauvinistic, but my time living here has showed me that they are not any more arrogant than my fellow Americans. In fact, the recent Pew Research Center survey, called the “The American-Western European Values Gap”, reveals quite the contrary.

Responding to the statement “Our people are not perfect but our culture is superior to others”, only 27% of French think French culture is better than all others. For the US, that number was 49%.

What could this say about Americans? I think overall we are less informed about world events and different cultures than European nations, and it shows in the numbers. So I believe this attitude is based on lack of experience abroad and lack of cultural perspective. That’s just my opinion though, not Pew’s conclusions. What do you think?

Another interesting statistic is that in foreign affairs, there is more isolationism in the US than in France:

52% of Americans polled said the US “should deal with its own problems”, 39% said the US “should help other countries”.

For the French, these numbers were 57% and 43%, respectively.

More from The Local website below, with a link to the survey here.

Poll finds French not so chauvinistic after all
Published: 18 Nov 2011 10:15 GMT+1

France’s reputation for chauvinism took a hit on Thursday from an opinion poll that revealed that only 27 percent of its people think French culture is better than all others.

In fact, 73 percent of French respondents to the ongoing Pew Research Center survey of US and European attitudes disagreed that “our culture is superior to others,” the polling institute reported.

Forty-nine percent of Americans believed US culture was the best, even if “our people are not perfect,” followed by Germans at 47 percent, Spaniards at 44 percent and Britons at 32 percent.

But, when set against past surveys, it appears “Americans are now far less likely to say that their culture is better than others; six-in-ten Americans held this belief in 2002 and 55 percent did so in 2007,” the pollsters said.

“Belief in cultural superiority has declined among Americans across age, gender and education groups.”

Americans were most likely to consider freedom to pursue life’s goals is most important (58 percent), while Germans were most likely to view success in life as being determined “by forces outside our control” (72 percent).

Pew based its findings from random telephone interviews in March and April with about 1,000 respondents in each country (Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the United States) with 3.5-4.5 percent margins of error.

The entire survey appears on its website, www.pewglobal.org.

AFP (fr) (news@thelocal.fr)

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé ! Wine bar hop tonight in Paris

November 17th, 2011 No comments

If you’re in France today, you’ll see signs in many bars and restaurants windows touting the message “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” in some variation (“The New Beaujolais region vintage has arrived!”).

For those of you who are not familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau, here is a little background on the wine and the event. This site also provides some insight (as well as the picture above, merci).

There are soirées all over the world to celebrate this annual event. One of my favorite places in Washington D.C. is Bistrot du Coin. I believe the French Embassy in D.C. and its Consulates have events as well.

My friend Miss Vicky Wine is hosting a wine bar hop tonight in Paris with Le Petit Ballon to celebrate the arrival of the 2011 vintage. You can find more information and RSVP on this Facebook event. Here is the itinerary, and more information on this site (in French). Have a good time tonight!

Nicolas Sarkozy in the US for bilateral talks and visit

September 23rd, 2011 No comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been in the US over the past couple days on a diplomatic visit.

He met with President Barack Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on September 21. Their remarks are below.

He also joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “to celebrate 125 years of friendship between France and NYC.”

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 21, 2011
Remarks by President Obama and President Sarkozy of France

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York, New York

4:53 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA: On the anniversary of September 11th, President Sarkozy gave a speech at our embassy in Paris, and he reminded the people of France, but also the world, of the extraordinary friendship that had developed, in part, because of the great sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made over the decades to preserve freedom and democracy. And so, not only am I grateful for the expression of deep friendship that President Sarkozy expressed, but I want to affirm the mutuality of feeling that we have towards the French people.

That partnership has been evidenced by the extraordinary work that we’ve done together in Libya. And I want to thank President Sarkozy for his leadership, as a coalition helped the Libyan people achieve the kind of freedom and opportunity that they’re looking for. That partnership is evidenced in the work we did together in Côte d’Ivoire to ensure that the rightfully elected leader of that country was put in place. And our partnership and our mutual leadership will be required to deal with a range of international issues that have been discussed here at the United Nations and are going to be critical in the months and years to come, including trying to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also trying to find a coordinated world strategy, global strategy, to deal with a economy that is still far too fragile.

And, of course, we still have the joint project to bring stability and transition to Afghan governance. And we are extraordinarily grateful for the sacrifices that the men and women in uniform from France have made in that effort.

On a personal note, I consider Nicolas a friend as well as a colleague. Thank you for your leadership. Welcome. And I look forward to a very productive discussion.

PRESIDENT SARKOZY: (As translated.) I should like to say just how delighted we are to be here in the United States, in New York, alongside Barack Obama.

Now, for we, the people of France, I must say, it’s actually easy to work with Barack Obama. Whatever the crises we’ve had to face together, whatever the initiatives we have taken jointly, on every single occasion we have found a listening, open-minded attitude on the part of our friend, Barack Obama. In particular, when tackling the crisis, which is still upon us today, the leadership that President Obama has shown, and showed at the time, have been of a special value to us all.

There is still much to do, in particular in paving the way to the G20 summit in Cannes. This is our priority; our number-one priority — let me make this very clear — is to find the path to growth worldwide.

Lastly, I wish to say to what extent I am sensitive to the boldness, the courage, the intelligence, and the sensitivity of President Obama, my friend. I liked him before his election; I liked him once he was elected; and I especially appreciate him now, when the tough times are upon us.

And there’s one thing I want to say, perhaps on a more personal note, and that I really mean from the bottom of my heart. When things are as tough as they are right now, when the going gets as tough as it is right now, it is especially precious and important to be able to speak to what is the world’s number-one power — to someone who listens; someone who is sensitive to others; someone who is respectful and aware of other people’s redlines and prepared to take them into account, especially at a time when, as I said, we are facing fresh difficulties, and we really need, together, to go forward.

(Speaking in English.) She speaks like me. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much.

END
5:02 P.M. EDT

US Secretary of State Clinton in Paris Sep 1 to discuss Libya

This just in from the US State Department…

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland

Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 29, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Paris, France September 1 to participate in a senior-level meeting of the Contact Group on Libya. The Paris meeting will build on the productive Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul on August 25 and will provide the international community with an opportunity to further coordinate our financial and political support for the TNC. The days and weeks ahead will be critical for the Libyan people, and the United States and its partners will continue to move quickly and decisively to help the TNC and address the needs of the Libyan people. Libya’s transition to democracy is and should be Libyan-led, with close coordination and support between the TNC and its international partners. The United States stands with the Libyan people as they continue their journey toward genuine democracy.

PRN: 2011/1379

Interested in global careers? FPA can help

September 9th, 2010 2 comments

The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) has always been a favorite resource of mine for foreign affairs news, events and job searches. For those living in New York City, FPA is offering seminars and courses as part of its “university” program.

They will cover getting jobs in the Foreign Service (International Diplomacy), as a Foreign Correspondent, in International Development, Global Finance and other topics. Registration can be completed at the link above. A related seminar is Sep. 20 on “Working around the world”:

Do your career ambitions lie beyond U.S. borders? Working overseas can be an exciting adventure, but finding the right international opportunity can be a challenging undertaking.

This seminar will illuminate a broad array of career paths available to Americans around the world.

In this course you will learn:

About the various kinds of international jobs available in the public, private and non-governmental sectors
Which companies, organizations and government departments are currently recruiting new talent
Tips on adjusting to living and working in another country or culture
Logistical pointers on obtaining visas and meeting tax requirements
What to expect from an international employer

Who should take this seminar?

Students preparing or considering international careers
Young professionals considering international careers

Why am I posting this? I know that many of my readers are interested in foreign affairs, living abroad and career opportunities as expats. These seminars could provide some valuable content for those looking to learn more about international careers. You can find some job and internship possibilities at the FPA Job Board too. Bon courage to everyone!

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