Franco-British Student Alliance

On the occasion of the official celebrations for the centenary of the Entente Cordiale in 2004, two prestigious institutions, the Paris Institute of Political Studies and the London School of Economics and Political Science, wished to commemorate this anniversary, treasured by students of both nations. They laid down the founding stones of the Franco-British Student Alliance with four major events organized the year of the centenary.

April 8th, 2004 – Château de Breteuil

Château de Breteuil

Around 300 students from LSE and Sciences-Po met on the very day of the Centenary of the Entente Cordiale at the Chateau de Breteuil, the historical place where the Entente Cordiale was forged, a century ago. They were hosted by the Marquis de Breteuil, the descendant of the architect of the Entente Cordiale, under the hospices of Mr Pierre Joxe, alumnus from both schools, and in the presence of His Excellency Sir John Holmes, British Ambassador to France, and of His Excellency Mr. Gerard Errera, French Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

May 9th, 2004 – Hotel Matignon

During Europe Day, held under the sign of friendship between French and British youths, the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac and the French Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin invited the British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair alongside a large number of French and British students. The British Prime Minister expressed his full support vis-à-vis bilateral cultural and educational initiatives, and encouraged youths from both countries to multiply occasions for encounter and exchange.

Her Majesty The Queen with President Chirac of France

November 18th, 2004 – Westminster Abbey

For the first time in the history of British Parliament, Her Majesty’s Government, in the presence of the House of Lords, solemnly declared, on the first day of the French President’s State Visit to the UK, its full support for a project federating the student initiatives of the most prestigious Universities in France and the United Kingdom. The following day, President Chirac of France met with Yves Djimi, President of the Alliance, at the French Ambassador’s residence in London and promised his full support.

December 1st, 2004 – Hatfield House

The Marquess of Salisbury, the descendant of Queen Victoria last Prime Minister, who paved the way for the Entente Cordiale, hosted hundreds of students from Sciences-Po Paris and the LSE, in the presence of His Excellency Sir John Holmes, the Ministre-Conseiller of the French Embassy Mr Jacques Audibert, and a number of Members of the British Parliament.

Her Majesty The Queen visits The Marquess of Salisbury at Hafield House in June 2012

These 2004 events enabled students from both sides of the Channel to forge strong ties of friendship and respect. Six Universities and Grandes Ecoles have eventually come together to establish the Franco-British Student Alliance : the students from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, HEC Paris, and the Ecole Polytechnique, the London School of Economics and Sciences-Po Paris. The joint patronage from Her Majesty the Queen and the President of the French Republic was conferred to the Alliance in April 2005 and the first Annual Summit took place in October 2005 at the Ecole Polytechnique. It was the birth of the first Franco-British student community.