The aim of the France strategy is to make Saarland a multilingual federal state within a generation – by 2043. The aim is for French, together with other European languages, to be commonly used alongside the state's native and official language of German. This would make Saarland the only multilingual federal state in Germany.
This would make Saarland the only multilingual federal state in Germany. Multilingualism is not an end in itself, it underpins the creation of a European reference region which is firmly based in the centre of Europe and has as its motto: More languages – more opportunities.
Multilingual teaching is already established practice at the deutsch-französisches Gymnasium (German/French Grammar School) in Saarbrücken and at the first ever German/Luxembourg school – the Schengen Grammar School in Perl. And the younger one starts multilingual learning the better – which is why there are already a string of bilingual nursery schools across the state. Just what can be achieved with international language skills and expertise is shown by over 20 bi-national and tri-national courses which are all offered by the German-French University (DFH/UFA). Saarland is proud of this bi-national institution which is the only one of its kind in the world and which runs a third of all German bilingual degrees in its 180 German and French partner universities. Due to the excellent specialist and intercultural education that they receive, 70 percent of all those who graduate obtain a job within three months.
A strong foundation
France is Saarland's most important trading partner. Our neighbouring country also plays a significant role in the fields of politics, culture, education and research. The success of the German-French partnership in Saarland is a model for successful partnerships in Europe. Even the very young have the opportunity to attend bilingual crèches and nursery schools. Four German-French institutions already have their headquarters in Saarland: the German-French University (DFH/UFA), the Deutsch-Französisches Sekretariat für den Austausch in der beruflichen Bildung (German-French Secretariat for Vocational Education Exchanges) (DFS/SFA), the Deutsch-Französischer Kulturrat (German-French Cultural Council (DFKR/HCCFA), and the satellite campus of the Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk (German-French Youth Office (DFJW/OFAJ).
French expertise as an economic driver
Over 100 French branches and subsidiaries are registered in Saarland. The French companies provide 3,000 jobs in the region. Almost 70 Saarland companies have a total of over 100 branches/offices in the French market. This is why the state's great efforts to become bilingual within a generation can be a major economic success. The strength of Saarland as a place to do business is based on the commitment of the companies established here, together with transnational training opportunities and a science and university system with a strong European focus.