Governor Hogan and President Bertrand des Hauts-de-France sign sister state agreement


ANNAPOLIS, MD– During ceremonies held today at the residence of the French Ambassador in Washington, DC and at the United States Embassy in Paris, Governor Larry Hogan and President Xavier Bertrand of the Hauts-de -France in France signed a memorandum of understanding on the state.

“I have always believed in the value and importance of looking outside our borders to build strong, productive and mutually beneficial international partnerships,” Governor Hogan said. “We look forward to continuing to promote this to Hauts-de-France for many years to come.

Governor Hogan was joined in Washington by Philippe Étienne, French Ambassador to the United States; Consul General of France, François Penguilly; and Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith. The signing ceremony in Paris was attended by President Bertrand; Jamie McCourt, United States Ambassador to France; and François Decoster, mayor of St. Omer.

In 1981, Maryland signed a sister state agreement with the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. However, due to recent changes in the French regional system, Maryland’s relations with the region had to be reaffirmed with the newly formed Hauts-de-France region. Bilateral efforts are already underway between the life sciences and the equine industries of Maryland and Hauts-de-France, as well as educational exchanges.

In November 2017, Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, Archbishop William Lori and Secretary of State John Wobensmith visited the town of Saint-Omer in Hauts-de-France to participate in the rededication of the Chapel of the College of English Jesuits, where the son of the Carroll family studied 275 years ago.

The Maryland Sister State program is supported by the hard work of Maryland Citizen Diplomats volunteers. The Maryland-Hauts-de-France co-chairs are Patrick Capurro from Annapolis and Candice Kelly from Port Tobacco.

“We are very proud of what the Maryland Sister States program has accomplished over the past six years. All of the international work that brings education, culture, business, health, and environmental exchange to Maryland would not be possible without the dedication of volunteers, and the State of Maryland is extremely grateful, ”said Secretary Wobensmith.

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