Francophonie Week launched in Switzerland

Press release, 16.03.2017

The Week of the French Language and La Francophonie, which is celebrated every year worldwide to reflect and showcase the diversity of the French-speaking world, was launched this year in Bern on 16 March. It will be observed in over 15 cities until 26 March, featuring about 100 events combining culture, celebration and conviviality. In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the events will bring together French-speakers and students of the French language.

The 22nd Week of the French Language and La Francophonie was officially launched on 16 March 2017 under the auspices of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Intercantonal Conference of Public Education of French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino (CIIP). The inaugural evening took place at the Dampfzentrale in Bern, in the presence of Ambassador Jean-Frédéric Jauslin and Monika Maire-Hefti, president of the Cantonal Council of the Republic and Canton of Neuchâtel and president of CIIP.

To mark the occasion, the francophone ambassadors in Bern presented their annual award. The award honours an individual who has worked on behalf of La Francophonie in Switzerland and has distinguished him or herself as a bridge between the country’s linguistic communities. A highlight of the evening was a performance by the winners of the week’s official song contest – secondary school pupils from the German-speaking part of Switzerland and from Ticino.

The Week of the French Language and La Francophonie is celebrated every year around 20 March, the International Day of La Francophonie. This year a variety of events celebrating the French language and the diversity of French-speaking cultures will be held in Switzerland between 16 and 26 March. Over fifteen cities will host a varied programme of events, including shows, lectures, advanced film screenings, concerts, opportunities to sample French cuisine and African dance classes.

Another highlight of the programme will be a small film festival, including a screening of the French film Heaven will Wait (2016), about teenagers recruited by ISIL, with its young protagonist in the audience. Lovers of the great outdoors can take part in walks with a guide dressed in period costume, singing French songs and stopping at historic sites that have been a source of inspiration for writers and poets across the length and breadth of our country.

Further information:

Programme and further information on the Week of the French Language and La Francophonie, 16–26 March 2017 (fr)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs