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Cross-border cooperation between Italy and France intensifies on a cultural and sustainable basis.

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

The two Rivieras, the French Riviera and the Italian Flowers Riviera, have always been linked by a deep historical, cultural and linguistic bond which has its roots in distant time. Not by chance, both geographical areas had been united in between 1700 and 1800 by the Kingdom of Savoy, one of the most prestigious royal families in Europe. Although the territory is now comprised between three States: Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco, the ancestral link is still alive and it is developing through new cross-border projects. On the 19th February 2023, an even more tightened plan of cooperation between the two sides of the riviera was launched in Menton. Yves Juhel, Mayor of Menton and President of the Communauté d'Agglomération de la Riviera Française - CARF (Community of Agglomeration of the French Riviera), and Alberto Biancheri, Mayor of Sanremo, have officially registered the next twinning of their municipalities, in the presence of H.E. Emanuela D'Alessandro, Ambassador of Italy to France, and Caterina Gioiella, Consul General of Italy in Nice.

Photo >> Yves Juhel and Alberto Biancheri, Mayor of Sanremo, registering the next twinning of their municipalities, in the presence of H.E. Emanuela D'Alessandro and Caterina Gioiella (Menton, 19th February 2023) © Ville de Menton

The joint signature of an act of intentions was set at the Menton Casino in the middle of the celebrations of the Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival). The two cities have significant similarities in the economic, social and cultural background, as well as in history, traditions and international cultural events. By the will of the parties, an increasing number of initiatives will be shared between the two seaside resorts. This outcome is in perfect line with Article 10 of the Quirinale Treaty, agreement between the Italian Republic and the French Republic to foster enhanced bilateral cooperations, as reaffirmed on the 26th November 2021 through the act signed by Mario Draghi, former Italian Prime Minister, in the presence of Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, and Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic.

Photo >> Senator Christian Cambon, President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces of the French Senate, H.E. Emanuela D'Alessandro, Ambassador of Italy to France, and Caterina Gioiella, Consul General of Italy in Nice, attending the event (Menton, 19th February 2023) © Ville de Menton

A particular emphasis has been placed on an essential core of socio-economic aspects. Notably, sustainable development, public services, infrastructure and mobility, economic, tourist and cultural partnerships, water management and professional training and bilingualism. The presence at the rendezvous of additional Italian and French authorities strengthened the willingness to cooperate. The Senator Christian Cambon, President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces of the French Senate, as well as a delegation of the Mayors of the CARF Municipalities close to the the provinces of Imperia and Cuneo, joined the meeting.

Photo >> Enhancement of exotic flora (Ceiba Speciosa) in the new setting of the Sablettes beach (Menton, 2022) © MOEA Maurice Abbati

The Mayor of Menton has shown a particular excitement in confirming the vicinity to Sanremo to prove the tourist vocation of the two marine resort towns. The culture of flowers and citrus fruits, the music festivals (the Italian Song Festival and the Menton Classical Music Festival), are some of the common elements. The Mayor of Sanremo placed emphasis on the strong similarity of the coastal and mountain territory between Sanremo and Menton that must address common management issues. In particular, he referred to the current anomalous drought that threatens the availability of water resources in both territories as well as mobility issues that need to be improved. Hence, the great will of both sides to work together.

Photo >> The historical Villa Ormond Gardens, including an incredible variety of flora biodiversity from exotic regions (Sanremo) MOEA Maurice Abbati

As for the environmental aspect, the climatic diversity of the territory between the coastal microclimate, that allows the growth of an extraordinary tropical exotic plant species next to the classic Mediterranean scrub, and the inland alpine climate, giving life to large wooded spaces made of pines, fir trees, chestnuts, oaks, beeches, larches and alpine pastures, requires special maintenance to preserve the various habitats. The hope is that particular attention will also be paid to monumental trees and other valuable plants and flower species, perhaps establishing common tourist-educational paths and research projects. ***

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By Maurice Abbati





Springer International Publishing


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