The gouvernement du Québec enters into international commitments with other governments and with international organizations. It coordinates negotiations, ensures the consistency of the commitments and drafts agreements.
International agreements are binding commitments, i.e., they contain legal obligations. They are made between the gouvernement du Québec and a foreign government or an international organization.
Many of these agreements give citizens real rights:
- Agreement on the recognition of professional qualifications
Québec has signed an agreement on the recognition of professional qualifications with France. The Québec-France Agreement (PDF 246 Kb) allows a person who has training and a license to practice a profession or regulated trade in Québec to work in France and anyone so qualified in France to work in Québec.
- Agreements on student mobility at the university level
International mobility agreements at the university level include financial support measures for international students wishing to pursue their studies in Québec. Some of these agreements also include incentives for Québec students wishing to have a living experience abroad. For example, monthly scholarships are available for master’s degree specialization programs or post-graduate research programs.
- Driver’s licence agreements
Québec has entered into several driver’s licence exchange agreements with various countries. These agreements allow newcomers to Québec from these countries to exchange their licences for a Québec licence and Québec residents living in those same countries to exchange their licences without having to take an exam or driving lessons.
Learn more about foreign driver’s licences.
- Social security agreements
These agreements are aimed at coordinating the social security systems of both parties to the agreement. They cover pensions (retirement, disability and survivors’ benefits). Some agreements also include sections on health , industrial accidents and occupational diseases (in French only).
Non-binding agreements include various forms of declarations of intent, joint statements, etc.
These commitments do not create any legal obligation since they are non-binding. They are nevertheless intended to guide relations between states and play an extremely important political role.
For example, the Declaration of Intent between the gouvernement du Québec and the Government of Wales is aimed at enhancing their relations through their joint participation in activities related to the economic, innovation, cultural and educational sectors. See the press release (in French only) for more information on the signing of this declaration.
Multilateral international conventions involve several parties. They are generally initiated by international organizations whose membership comprises a large number of sovereign states, including Canada.
The gouvernement du Québec sees to Québec’s interests when Canada accedes to or negotiates a multilateral international convention on matters that fall within Québec’s constitutional jurisdiction. If the gouvernement du Québec deems it advantageous, it can take legal steps to make the conventions applicable in Québec. For example, Québec has declared itself bound by the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
The federal government makes bilateral and multilateral agreements with foreign partners.
The gouvernement du Québec sees to Québec’s interests when Canada negotiates an agreement on matters that fall within Québec’s constitutional jurisdiction. If the gouvernement du Québec deems it advantageous, it can take legal steps to make the agreement applicable in Québec. For example, Québec has declared itself bound by the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) .
Agreements – Non-governmental organizations
An international non-governmental organization (INGO) is an autonomous entity with an international structure created to pursue the essentially non-profit goals of its founders or members.
The gouvernement du Québec may grant tax exemptions and other benefits to INGOs wishing to open offices in Québec. Among other things, these benefits offered to INGOs and their non-Canadian employees cover health (health and hospital insurance), immigration, education and driver’s licenses.
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Last update: February 17, 2021