RANEPA at the international conference in Nice
On May 3-4, Nice (France) hosted the annual International Applied Research Conference, “The Future of France and Russia in Post-Crisis World: Civil Society Dialogue in Education, Science, and Economics.” This year, Russian and French colleagues gathered for the eighth time to discuss important current issues of cooperation.
The organizers of the conference are the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), the University of Nice Sofia-Antipolis (UNS), RANEPA Russian-French Center, the International Association of University Professors and Lecturers, UNESCO (IAUPL), CEPN-UP13, the City Hall of Nice and the Cote d'Azur Metropolitan Area. The conference is held under the UNESCO patronage.
The host side was represented by Deputy Mayor of Nice for Energy Policy, Metropolitan Advisor Mr. Bernard Asso. He welcomed the participants on behalf of the Mayor of Nice, Mr. Christian Estrosi, and noted the city hall’s special interest in exploring the idea of a smart city, a city of the future. This interest is not accidental: Nice is the leader among the representatives of smart city, a leading city for innovations in France. In June, the mayor's office will organize the Innovative City convention, which will gather managers, architects, and IT professionals introducing the smart city concept in their cities. One of the main principles of the development of Nice is the preservation of its identity and its combination with universality, the speaker noted. In this, he said, Russia’s and France’s approaches correlate. The two countries continue to be strategic allies; it is important for the French to maintain this status of relations, which even President de Gaulle deemed important.
The combination of these two aspects – identity and universality – generates a wide field for public discussion, which arose as a result of the agreements between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron and was called Trianon Dialogue. This initiative clearly reflects the two countries’ political priorities and civil society interests. Therefore, according to Mr. Asso, discussions within the Trianon Dialogue framework should cover issues such as the advantages and challenges of universality, which will make them multifaceted and increase their relevance.
These discussions are already underway: the 2018 Gaidar Forum in January this year featured discussions of cooperation with France; Russia and France are engaged in extensive student and research exchanges. In June, Nice along with Paris and Marseille will host Moscow Days in France. The Nice City Hall has proposed expanding the membership and establishing cooperation between representatives of municipal authorities.
President of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS), Professor Emmanuel Tric considers this conference a sign of cooperation between Moscow and Nice. The existing formats of cooperation between Russia and France prove their serious intentions long term plans: the Russian-French network university, joint academic research, development of the areas where universities are located – all these projects require a thoughtful work involving both strategic and tactical planning. The city of the future idea is one of such prominent areas for cooperation between Russian and French researchers and managers.
Professor Michel Gay, General Secretary of UNESCO IAUPL, expressed satisfaction with the Association of Russian Universities joining its French colleagues. Along holding regular conferences, this fact is evidence of fraternal relations between our peoples and a mutual interest in their maintenance and development, he said.
Kirill Bykov, Science and Technology Counselor of the Russian Embassy in France, conveyed Russian Ambassador Alexei Meshkov’s greetings to the conference participants. He cited the statistics of joint Russian-French projects in science, education and innovation, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and Russia’s focus on it. The work of over 40 joint scientific laboratories; stable and extensive exchanges of students, graduate students, and teachers; an agreement on mutual recognition of degrees; more than 20 state-funded Russian-French projects, including in high-precision and knowledge-intensive industries such as astrophysics – all this indicates a high level of trust between our countries and a focus on long-term cooperation.
The Presidential Academy was represented at the conference by Director of RANEPA Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service Igor Bartsits. He quoted the welcoming words from RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau, who noted the relevance of the issues discussed at the conference. A modern university cannot be imagined without cooperation and joint programs with leading universities that are developing as technopolises today. Russian and French universities demonstrate a high interest in working together. The Academy has become a key participant in the Russian-French University, actively contributing to its development. The Russian side sees the key to success in cooperation, the promotion of academic exchanges, and the development of joint activities, Dr. Mau said in his message.