The French-speaking Parliamentary Assembly (FPA) was founded in 1967 under the title International Assembly of French-speaking Members of Parliament. Its aim is to reflect and illustrate the multi-cultural character of French-speaking peoples.
The FPA is the consultative organ of the French-speaking world, its decision-making authorities being the Conference of Heads of State and Government Leaders of French-speaking countries, the Conference of Ministers of French-speaking countries and the Standing Committee of French-speaking countries.
Areas of activity
The FPA constitutes the democratic link between French-speaking institutions and peoples. It provides a platform for debate, proposals and the exchange of information on subjects of common interest, principally the promotion and defence of democracy, the constitutional state, respect for human rights, the international influence of the French language and cultural diversity.
In particular, the Assembly leads discussions about political freedom and rights, parliament and communication, the French-speaking economic area and decentralised cooperation, or for example education and obstacles to the spread of knowledge in French-speaking countries, or the role of the French language in international organisations.
Finally, the FPA devises and implements projects involving inter-parliamentary cooperation and the spread of democracy.
How the FPA functions
The FPA operates at international and regional levels (Europe, America, Africa, Asia). As far as concerns the international level, its principal organ is the General Assembly which meets in July every year and addresses issues already dealt with by its four committees, namely the Political Committee, the Committee for Education, Communication and Cultural Affairs, the Committee for Parliamentary Affairs and the Committee for Cooperation and Development. The committees meet between the annual General Assemblies in different locations at the invitation of member countries.
At the regional level, the Assembly for the European Region is held at the end of the year.
The French-speaking Parliamentary Assembly adopts resolutions on issues of interest to the French-speaking community that may be of a political, economic, social or cultural nature. It also accepts opinions and recommendations intended for, in particular, heads of state and government leaders of French-speaking countries.
The FPA is made up of delegates from 77 parliaments or inter-parliamentary organisations from five continents who represent the members sections (48 countries) and the so-called associate sections such as Albania, Rumania or the Valais (17), as well as the parliaments of Armenia, Catalonia and Louisiana and the Pan-African Parliament (12), who all have observer status.
The FPA has grown considerably since the beginning of the 1990s, having expanded to include the parliaments of countries in the process of adopting a democratic political system. This vitality illustrates the both political and cultural attraction of the FPA throughout the French-speaking community.