Mr President, dear Bruno Bourg-Broc, Mr Mayor, dear Bernard Poignant, Mayors, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Let me begin by thanking you for inviting me to these
fifth Conference of Medium and Intercommunity Cities, to which
I did not hesitate for a second to participate, because I grant, and all
Ministry of Culture and Communication with me, an extreme
importance to local and regional authorities - which are key players
cultural policies conducted in the territories since several
decades now -, and the partnerships that the State can establish with

The cultural context in the regions has changed profoundly. The current situation
result of a process that saw the State develop its intervention on the
cultural field first alone, before being gradually accompanied
by local authorities. The landscape we know
today remains profoundly marked by this history which is at the origin
a tradition of public intervention in culture, and
building a network of skills and a system of standards that
the French cultural landscape. It is in this context that the
the absolutely necessary dialogue between the authorities and the State.

This dialogue, which has existed for a long time, at national level, but also
through the Community Cultural Affairs Directorates and
decentralized services of the Ministry of Culture, has experienced an acceleration
by the reactivation of the Council of Local Authorities for the
cultural development (CCTDC) in 2008, at which your
association fully participates and has allowed a concerted work around
current major reforms in the cultural field.

This acceleration is also the mission that I entrusted
a few months to Jérôme Bouët on the renewal of partnerships
between local and regional authorities and the State, of which I will soon
the main orientations that I retain for a new
cooperation with local authorities. I can tell you
already that I make my own a number of principles that
recommends Jérôme Bouët in his report:

The development of an equal partnership between my department and the
local authorities. My Ministry does not have to
position, it must especially accompany initiatives that
emanate from the field, elected officials, artists, cultural actors;

More in-depth strategic consultation, using tools
flexible and effective: new territorial agreements; priorities
clearly stated in the State-Regions project contracts, in particular
on major topics for the future such as digital, industries
and training, so that the contribution of art and
the culture to the knowledge economy is effective in the territories
for which you are responsible.

The development of territorial missions of public institutions
national: I have written in the mission letters of the presidents
of public institutions I have appointed since becoming Minister this
guidance, and it’s also in their performance contracts.
We see with the project of the Centre Pompidou Mobile how this
guidance is relevant.

The in-depth dialogue with local and regional authorities will
particularly valuable in the coming months, with the reform of
local authorities, since culture remains a shared responsibility
between the different levels of communities, which will involve
strong partnerships in the territories, in which my ministry
wishes to register in an assertive manner.

I am also pleased that you dedicated a round table to the issues
in the visibility and attractiveness of cultural
territories. From my point of view, they are absolutely crucial. Certainly,
the attractiveness of a territory depends on many «classic» factors
infrastructure, transportation, or the presence of
higher education, research and innovation structures, including
the economic impact is immediately noticeable. But culture is a
key parameter for the attractiveness of cities and territories. This is
it attracts, it is she who keeps, it is she who gives her identity to

On these three aspects, medium-sized cities are exemplary. I think by
example in Albi, and I am delighted that Mr Bonnecarrère is here
today to demonstrate the great success of the
classification of the Episcopal City of Albi as a
Humanity last July. The enhancement of its heritage will allow
to be more visible certainly, but also to change dimension,
within its geographical area and even beyond. I think we
can speak of a virtuous circle that begins, because the development
tourism leads to economic development and arrival
companies, executives, families, often in high expectation in terms of
cultural policies. That’s what culture - I mean
including libraries, festivals, entertainment facilities
living, museums, art centers, historical monuments -, attracts
and “loyalty”.

It is also often a strong identity for the territories, and
cities in the foreground. Examples include Arles, Avignon, Beaune,
Belfort, Charleville-Mézières, Hyères, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, Saint-Malo,
Vienna, Annecy where I’m going tonight for the International Festival
of the animated film – so many cities to which we associate
immediately their respective festivals, including Sète, Blois and
Troyes, which by their attention to their cultural institutions, and more
generally to their cultural policies, gave, hand in hand
with the State, an emblematic dimension to their territory. You
I apologize for not being able to quote all the cities I have been able to measure
the successes of their cultural policies, because they are really very

I consider that medium-sized cities have a major role to play in the
our country’s cultural policy, particularly to promote
better shared art and culture, in a country historically
marked by the weight of its centralization. By their abundant initiatives,
contribute to the artistic and cultural pluralism of the
France. They have achieved the challenge of proximity and outreach, in a
balance essential to any cultural policy, which generates both a
feeling of pride and belonging to the population and
the city’s economy as a whole.

I am aware that medium-sized communities are experiencing
sometimes more difficult to implement and realize their ambitions
communities. This is the reason why
I constantly have in mind, in the various policies implemented
by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the attention it is
necessary to carry them.

For example, I can give you the “museum plan”, which I launched just recently.
a few months, and which aims to upgrade this equipment, in order to
develop a range of excellence throughout the territory, in a
In parallel with the conduct of a policy, the
projects in state museums, we are pursuing a policy of
support to local and regional authorities, in order to offer
close to the public, quality cultural and museum projects.

This same concern was the basis for the Rural Plan, which
submitted to your association of elected officials within the framework of the
local authorities for cultural development.

The Centre Pompidou Mobile project is also part of this
will to support medium-sized cities to enrich the artistic and
of their territories.

I would also like to remind you that almost two thirds of the scenes
My Ministry’s national labels are located in cities
for which they do a remarkable job of
activities. These facilities are a
example of a successful partnership between the Ministry of Culture and
communication and medium-sized cities. I wanted my ministry to set
a floor intervention of 500,000 for each national stage, this
which was not the case until then: this catch-up will be carried out in the months
that come.

The Scènes de musiques actuelles (SMAC) also concern
medium-sized cities. I also announced in Spring of
Bourges, a plan for SMAC, so that we
reached 100 SMAC by 2015. Many of you are
plan that will allow the emergence of new
labeled equipment.

Finally I recall that the decentralized network of the Ministry of Culture -
that is to say its Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs - came out
strengthened reform of the territorial administration of the State. The DRAC
work on a daily basis with communities, including cities
to provide them with expertise or advice.

I will be attentive in the coming months to all the projects that
you will wear for your territories, because I know how much the effects of a
Ambitious and balanced cultural policy are powerful for health
and the development of the cities you manage, and therefore
for our entire country.

Please be assured that my department, its central and
are determined to support you in the best possible way
in the definition and implementation of your cultural policies. I
think that together we can draw a strong ambition for the
diversity of our territories, embodied in all the cities you
represent. These meetings on the banks of the Odet, in the heart of the
Cornwall, are a great opportunity to take the measure of the projects
that you wear and that make you essential actors of our life
national cultural.

Thank you.