Accreditation, to accredit: Official recognition by the host state (giving the accreditation) of the head of the diplomatic mission appointed by the sending state (receiving the accreditation).
Agency for French education abroad (AEFE): public establishment under the control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs created in 1990 to administer French public education establishments abroad.
Approval: consent of the host state to the appointment of the head of mission proposed by the sending state.
"Blue": a summary of the conclusions (on blue paper) of the inter-ministerial meetings in the Matignon building, which are directives for the participants
CFSP: Common foreign and security policy between members of the European Union, institutionalised with the Treaty of Maastricht.
Cipher, ciphering: A system for automatically coding messages (telegrams) exchanged between the posts and the Department.
COFACE: French insurance company for external trade; a public body when it was created in 1946, it has since been privatised and specialises in guaranteeing risks related to external trade.
"Commis": Under the Ancien Régime, a high ranking public official.
"Concours d’Orient": An entrance examination for access to a diplomatic career designed for recruiting language specialists and European, Near and Middle East, Africa and Asia specialists. A German section has recently been added to it.
Consular commission: A formal letter from the President of the Republic, conferring powers on a head of a consular post.
Council of Europe: The first European inter-governmental organisation founded in 1949 in Strasbourg.
Department: Originally, all the tasks assigned to a minister or a civil servant. Department means a ministry, but that of Foreign Affairs is practically the only one in which the word "Department" has remained in current use, and is often used alone.
Detached chancery: branch of a consulate situated outside the city where it has its headquarters. Diplomatic bag: Large jute sacks sealed with red wax, which go by air once or twice a week, escorted by a "cabinet courier" when their contents are confidential.
DREE: The department for external economic relations in the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry
EBRD: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, created in 1990.
EUTELSAT: European organisation for satellite communication
French association: A network of independent associations in local law under the umbrella of the mother French association, dedicated since its creation in 1883 to the dissemination of the French language and culture.
IBRD: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, created in 1945 (also known as the "World Bank").
IMF: International Monetary Fund, created in 1945.
Intranet: An internal Ministry information network
MEDEF: Movement for French enterprises, formerly CNPF (French national employers council)
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, stemmed from the Washington alliance treaty (1949)
Noble: of the King or, in other words, which comes under the sovereignty of the state
OECD: Organisation for economic co-operation and development, from 1960 the successor to the OEEC
OFPRA: French office for the protection of refugees and stateless persons, public establishment under the control of Foreign Affairs, created in 1952.
OSCE: Organisation for security and co-operation in Europe, which stemmed from the conference of the same name originating in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.
PEE: Economic expansion post, a branch of the DREE abroad.
Post: Any official French representation abroad.
Security Council: Decision making body of the United Nations composed of 15 states, 5 of which are permanent members.
SGCI: Secretariat General of the inter-ministerial committee for questions on European Economic co-operation, body responsible for France’s policy in relation to the European Union, responsible to the prime Minister.
Telegram: Message sent electronically, usually encoded, between the posts and the Department The French artistic action association (AFAA): An organisation founded in 1922 to encourage artistic exchanges with other countries.
UNESCO: United Nations organisation for education, science and culture, founded in 1946.
WEU: Western European Union, the sole European defence organisation, created in 1955.
WHO: World Health Organisation, specialist United Nations institution, created in 1948.
WTO: World Trade Organisation, which in 1995 stemmed from the General agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) dating from 1948.