Dear Minister, Dear Abderraouf El Basti, Ambassadors, Presidents and Directors General,Dear Friends,

I am particularly pleased to be here with you. This is the first time since I became Minister of Culture and Communication that I have been invited to speak to such a large audience in Tunisia. And everyone here knows my interest in the country that welcomes me today, the long friendship that binds me to most of you, Tunisian artists, directors, producers and media workers.
And I am pleased to be able to open this first edition of the Tunis Audiovisual Days, because this one-of-a-kind symposium addresses a major issue for both Tunisia and France: the place of audiovisual in our societies, the importance of our exchanges in an area marked by the digital revolution and the Internet.
I attach great importance to these days and would like to thank the Embassy of France in Tunisia for this happy initiative and, for their unfailing support, the Tunisian Ministers of Culture and the Safeguarding of Heritage and Communication, my colleagues and friends Abderraouf El Basti and Oussama Romdhani.
I also want to salute, for her effective contribution, Dora Bouchoucha, President of this 23rd edition of the Carthage Film Days, and of which everyone here knows, as the very beautiful programme of this festival shows, commitment to the dialogue of the world’s cultures and cinemas. I also want to thank all the speakers and more particularly the two leaders of these meetings, two personalities who have an intimate knowledge of the audiovisual world, but also of the links between Tunisia and France, the great journalist, man of letters and director Serge Moati, well known to our Tunisian friends, and Frédéric Martel, journalist and sociologist, who published this year a very stimulating analysis of the state of the media world.
These days will allow each of you, the professionals today, the general public tomorrow, to address a series of issues that seem particularly relevant to each of our two countries, the scale and quality of the relationship between Tunisia and France.
1- The first issue is the importance of audiovisual exchanges between our two countries. As Minister of the French Republic, I am naturally mindful that the culture of my country can be accessible everywhere in the world. Because I believe in the quality and vitality of French creation, especially in the field of cinema, and in the specificity of the way French media look at the world. It is therefore important that French channels can continue to be received in Tunisia, and that is why I am pleased that a new satellite package, Canal overseas, will soon be arriving. I thank the Tunisian authorities for their support.
But I am equally committed to welcoming foreign cultures in France, and especially Tunisian culture. France has a long tradition of openness and acceptance of the cultures of the world, and I am particularly sensitive to the fact that Tunisian culture is welcomed in France as you are welcoming here, in Tunisia, the culture of my country. A few years ago, I think I helped raise the profile of Tunisia in France when I was commissioner of the Tunisian Season. Today, as Minister, I am ensuring that Tunisian culture can continue to provide us, the French people, with the richness of its diversity and creativity and the relevance of its outlook, illustrated especially today by the renewal of its cinema. It is to honour a great talent, but also Tunisia, that the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, and I appointed Dora Bouchoucha, President of the Southern Fund. Everyone here knows that this fund plays a major role in the emergence of new talent, in the affirmation of the cinemas of the world. It is because I believe in this dialogue between our cultures that it seemed essential to me to organize, last summer in Paris, the first festival of oriental music where Tunisia was so wonderfully represented. And I hope that our media will reflect Tunisian creativity, the diversity of a country that everyone in France needs to know better.
This dialogue between our cultures seems all the more obvious and necessary to me because we share the same language, French, which, I am convinced, can only be shared.
2- The second issue is digital. It is an opportunity that we must seize. In France, the Grand Emprunt launched by the President of the Republic will allow us not to miss this opportunity of openness that the latest offers us in the great technological revolutions. The digital shift offers extraordinary opportunities to promote a better knowledge of oneself, our own culture, our heritage, but also a greater openness to others. I would like to pay tribute here to the remarkable work done in France by the Institut national de l'audiovisuel in favour of digitization and the provision of our television heritage, where emotion, memory and knowledge mingle in the tone of voices and the grain of images. In this regard, I am pleased with the close ties established by this institution with its Tunisian partners. Because we must share this digital memory. It must be accessible to all of us on both sides of the Mediterranean.
[This common memory is in particular the news of French television that retraces the history of Tunisia from 1940 to 1946: I am particularly pleased that we are giving you today a copy of this collection that was digitized by the INA. It is the memory of a shared past.