Former Prime Minister Mr Lionel Jospin gave a series of conference talks in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney (2-12 December 2014) [fr]
On 10 December 2014, Mr Lionel Jospin was nominated to the French Constitutional Council. This news came as Mr Lionel Jospin was visiting Australia, where he participated in a series of conferences across Australia, including the prestigious Tom Nairn Lecture organised by RMIT University in Melbourne. Close to 1000 people overall attended Mr Jospin’s talks in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. In his lectures, Mr Lionel Jospin drew on the key themes and arguments presented in his latest book Le Mal napoléonien (Editions du Seuil, 2014). Mr Lionel Jospin signed around 100 books (in French) at the four book signing sessions organised by French bookshops Intext and Le Forum.
In Melbourne, on 3 December, His Excellency Mr Christophe Lecourtier hosted a dinner in honour of Mr Lionel Jospin. The following day, Mr Lionel Jospin and former Australian Prime Minister Mr Paul Keating were guests of honour at a gala dinner held by RMIT University at the State Library of Victoria. On 5 December, Mr Lionel Jospin was guest of honour at a cocktail reception organised at the State Library of Victoria by French Honorary Consul Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, and her husband Mr John Wylie, President of the Board of the State Library of Victoria.
Mr Lionel Jospin at the ASFS annual congress
Whilst in Melbourne, Mr Lionel Jospin actively contributed to the annual Australian Society for French Studies (ASFS) conference, delivering two talks on his latest book, as well as participating in an expert panel debate about Napoleon Bonaparte’s legacy in contemporary France and Europe – along with Dr Jean Fornasiero (University of Adelaide), Dr John West-Sooby (University of Adelaide), and Prof. Peter McPhee (University of Melbourne).
His Excellency Mr Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France to Australia, Mr Lionel Jospin, and Mr Eric Soulier (Head of Culture, Education, Science & Technology at the Embassy of France in Australia), at the annual ASFS conference
In Canberra, on 8 December, Mr Lionel Jospin was welcomed by His Excellency Mr Christophe Lecourtier at the Residence of France for a luncheon in his honour.
His Excellency Mr Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France to Australia, and Mr Lionel Jospin, at the Residence of France
Later that day, Mr Lionel Jospin was officially welcomed by ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training) Prof. Jenny Corbett. Mr Lionel Jospin was also the guest of honour at the ceremony for the awarding of the insignia of Knight of the Order of Academic Palms to Professor Jacqueline Lo, Director of the ANU Centre for European Studies. Mr Lionel Jospin was then able to give a talk about his latest book Le Mal napoléonien (Editions du Seuil, 2014) at the Australian National University.
Mr Lionel Jospin, Professor Jacqueline Lo, His Excellency Mr Christophe Lecourtier
In Sydney, Mr Lionel Jospin was officially welcomed by Consul-General of France Mr Eric Berti. Mr Jospin delivered a talk at the Alliance française in Sydney – the event was jointly organised with the Consulate-General of France in Sydney and the NSW French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI).
Mr Lionel Jospin during his talk at the Alliance française in Sydney
Mr Lionel Jospin was also warmly welcomed by the International French School of Sydney (Lycée Condorcet) for a debate with about 90 Year 10, 11 and 12 students (Seconde, Première, Terminale) and around 10 teaching staff.
Mr Lionel Jospin during his talk at the Lycée Condorcet
Mr Lionel Jospin and Mr Philippe Courjault (Principal of the International French School of Sydney), with the students and teaching staff at the Lycée Condorcet
During his stay in Sydney, Mr Lionel Jospin attended a dinner organised by the NSW French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI).
Throughout his travels across Australia, Mr Lionel Jospin was always warmly welcomed by Australians with links to France as well as by French people living in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
About Lionel Jospin:
A progressive social thinker and advocate, Lionel Jospin is one of the most respected figures in French and European political life. Among his 21 years in politics, his five years as Prime Minister (1997-2002) are widely viewed as a decisive period for economic growth and social peace. Perhaps best known for implementing the 35-hour working week in France, the Jospin government also paved the way for the French adoption of the euro, provided universal health insurance for those on the lowest incomes, promoted the representation of women in politics, expanded the social security system, and introduced civil partnerships between two people, including same-sex couples. Other progressive reforms included improvements to social benefits, increases in the minimum wage and expansions to healthcare and education. Upon losing the first round of presidential elections in 2002, Lionel Jospin retired from active politics. But not from public life: since his retirement he has authored a number of books and publications.