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Anglo-French relations: the Entente Cordiale celebrates 120 years

18 April 2024 Business
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In 1904, the conclusion of the Entente Cordiale agreements put an end to centuries of antagonism, and opened the way for new relations between France and the United Kingdom. In 2024, both countries celebrate both the 120 years of the Entente Cordiale and 80th anniversary of the Normandy and Provence landings leading to the liberation of France in 1944.

Diplomatic relations between France and the United Kingdom have a long history often marked by conflicts, to which the Entente Cordiale (litt. “Cordial Agreement”) initiated as early 1830 found a conclusion on 8 April 1904 with the signature of a series of bilateral agreements.



Common values


The French government website underlined that this anniversary was an opportunity to promote “the historical military, diplomatic, economic and cultural bonds that unite France and the United Kingdom and reaffirm our common values”. For the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, both countries “managed to build a strong bilateral relation and a close cooperation in multilateral contexts, both on the military aspect in NATO and diplomatic aspect in the United Nations Security Council”.

The ministry also insists on the fact that France and the United Kingdom managed to create the “conditions for cultural, educational and trade exchanges, in order to consolidate what is a genuine friendship”. Today, declared the ministry, “we have exchanges in every field and are working together to tackle the challenges of the future”. They include two targeted industries:

  • Climate change, with close collaboration to “solve the energy crisis and better protect the environment and biodiversity” by encouraging sustainable development;
  • New technologies, with common work “on the opportunities that artificial intelligence may bring, but also the risks it may generate”.


It is worth noting that in another area, higher education, exists the Entente Cordiale Scholarship Programme founded in 1995 by French president Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister John Major to help students complete their studies or research in France, but also promote exchanges between the decisionmakers of tomorrow in France and the United Kingdom.


Highlight for the international influence of France


The ministry in charge of Europe also underlines that in 2024, France and the United Kingdom celebrate two highlights of their recent common history: the 120 years of Entente Cordiale, but also the 80th anniversary of the Normandy and Provence landings that led to the liberation of France 1944.

About this chapter of major events and commemoration, France created an Internet website specifically designed for the 80 years of the Liberation. An interministerial structure called Mission Libération is thus in charge of organising the commemorative ceremonies planned in 2024 and 2025 in France. Its mission is to work with “all involved players to organise and promote the ceremonies and bring value to local actions and subjects put forward for this 80th anniversary”. To this end, the Mission launched its Internet website with editorial contents from historians and experts on World War II, and a call for witnesses of children of the French Liberation.

The idea is for Mission Libération to “understand our history”, to “draw the lessons of the past” and face “the trials, united”. To reach this goal, the overall commemorative cycle in 2024 will be a highlight “for the country, for its international influence, but also for the cohesion around the republican values of liberty, equality and fraternity”. The programme, currently under completion, will include the commemoration of the two landings (Normandy and Provence), but also the liberations of Paris and Strasburg, the action of the French Resistance in fights, and many other events planned all over the French territory.


Explore more: 

- on the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs website

on the website of the French government

on the Mission Libération website


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