Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The 11th Francophone Summit is currently on in Bucharest. At this point, you may well be asking yourself why a non-Francophone nation should be hosting such an event. You are not alone. I have no idea either.

As if to highlight the oddness of it all, at a ceremony to unveil a statue of De Gaulle, Basescu managed to force out the word "Bienvenue", before switching back to Romanian.

There are loads of francophone nations where this event could have been held (or nations in which French is a second language at least) - off the top of my head I can think of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, various African countries (both Arab and sub-Saharan), Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, French Guyana, Lebanon. They can't possibly have exhausted all those options yet, since this is only the 11th such event.

C'est tres tres bizarre, n'est-ce pas?

1 comment:

romesperi said...

Well, I think it was very good for Romania that the event was hosted here. About only half of all Francophonie members actually have French as an official language, but all members are obliged to have some policy regarding the French language (in Romania, it is the main foreign language taught in schools, the government press releases and websites are also available in French, and there is a state secretary for Francophone affairs). Also, Romania has quite a significant Francophone heritage, considering that the language was influenced by French in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and that French culture was very influential in the formation of the modern Romanian nation.

The previous summit had been held in Burkina Faso, so this summit was destined to be held in Europe or Canada. Since Canada will host the next summit, I think the choice of Romania, particularly as a "new" destination in a Francophone context, was quite good, and it was organised well.