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Québec’s International Policy

Québec on the world stage: Involved, Engaged, Thriving

Québec has its own specific role to play on the world stage. As a credible and responsible actor, Québec is guided in its actions by a central principle: its jurisdictions at home are also its jurisdictions beyond its borders. Drawing on its network of representations abroad and established practices, Québec defends its interests and engages its international partners in a constructive way.

Québec’s international actions unfold in a changing world that is increasingly fragmented and uncertain. Economic turmoil, climate change, demographic trends, inequalities and a rising tide of terrorist attacks all generate tensions. Confronted with a broad array of emerging challenges, Québec is adapting its actions and focusing its ambitions with respect to two imperatives that underpin its prosperity and values: economic openness and inclusion. It is a willing partner and, when needed, a leader. It promotes a vision of globalization that fosters economic growth in keeping with the principles of sustainable development.

Many of the changes sweeping the world today, including technological innovation and the fulfillment of the aspirations of millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty, can be a source of opportunities for Québec, its workers, young people, researchers, artists and entrepreneurs. Québec’s ability to grasp these opportunities depends on its capacity to adapt and forge alliances.

Québec’s International Policy sets forth three major thrusts that will guide the government’s international actions in the years to come:

Make Quebecers more prosperous

  • In the face of protectionist tendencies, Québec will reiterate its commitment to building economic partnerships that boost prosperity and enable social progress.
  • Given the fundamental role played by human capital in creating prosperity, one majorobjective of the policy is to boost the international mobility of workers, young people, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists and students.
  • The government will support the efforts of Québec companies to expand internationally, including their integration into global value chains.
  • Québec will pay close attention to efforts aimed at tackling tax problems created by globalization, including difficulties related to the taxation of e-commerce and to international tax evasion.

Contribute to a more sustainable, just and secure world.

  • Québec will consolidate its leadership in matters of climate diplomacy.
  • Given its geographical situation and expertise, Québec will strengthen its ties with actors in the Nordic and Arctic region.
  • Québec will increase its international solidarity initiatives as well as its support for organizations involved in cooperation and global citizenship education.
  • Québec will step up its promotion of human rights and freedoms, notably with respect to gender equality and the rights and freedoms of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
  • Québec will strengthen cooperation mechanisms in order to ensure the effective management of risks related to security, including radicalization leading to violence and cybercrime.

Promote creativity, culture, knowledge and Québec’s specificity.

  • Excellence in culture and science and their enrichment through exchanges are a major objective of the policy and are intimately related to the international image that Québec seeks to project.
  • Active membership in the Francophonie and promoting Québec’s specificity in terms of language and culture are transversal elements of the policy, and will serve as an overall guide in the pursuit of its objectives.

These thrusts respond to the interests and concerns of economic, institutional, cultural and associative stakeholders, as well as youth representatives, experts and the public at large, who were consulted in the course of the policy development process. They ensure continuity with Québec’s modern-day international actions and are also consistent with the challenges facing Québec at the international level. The result of a concerted approach by the government, this policy reflects the vitality and creativity of an increasingly diverse group of actors who contribute to promoting Québec on the international scene and whose successes reflect on all of Québec society.

Québec builds on its specificity, creativity and networks to ensure that its international relations develop and flourish. Québec intends to gradually add to its arsenal of intervention tools, taking into account changing circumstances while at the same time respecting the principle that successful diplomacy requires long-term effort and commitment.

It will attain the objectives of its international policy through effective diplomacy, innovative approaches and the commitment on the part of all government departments and agencies. To foster stakeholder cohesion and ensure optimal implementation of the policy, a new approach to the governance of our international actions will be put in place, both within the government and through the creation of formal mechanisms for consulting civil society and municipal stakeholders.

Compared to Québec’s 2006 international policy and previous versions, Québec on the World Stage: Involved, Engaged, Thriving innovates by establishing a limited number of inclusive policy thrusts and by setting objectives with respect to international mobility, value chains, digital technology, Arctic and northern issues and climate diplomacy. Québec will also step up its efforts in the areas of economic and trade partnerships, international solidarity, security, culture, science, the Francophonie and human rights and freedoms, especially gender equality and respect for the human rights of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Last update: September 30, 2019


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