Arthur Vlaminck was just twenty-six years old when he became speechwriter to France’s volcanic minister of foreign affairs. “I entrust you with the most important thing,” the minister says to the young, confused new staffer, “. . . the word.”
So opens Quai d’Orsay, the acclaimed satirical graphic novel by Antonin Baudry, former speechwriter to Dominique de Villepin, then French minister of foreign affairs. The international best seller dissects life at the ministry in the tense post-9/11 period. Baudry describes how—in a time of seemingly never-ending crises—diplomatic messaging, doctrine, and decisions were crafted against a backdrop of ultra-competitive colleagues, night-long meetings, chain-smoking, and metal music.
Carnegie Europe hosted a special event featuring Antonin Baudry to discuss lessons learned along the Seine and how they could help navigate EU foreign policy challenges today. Baudry was joined by Pierre Vimont, senior associate at Carnegie Europe and former chief of staff to de Villepin. Jan Techau, director of Carnegie Europe, moderated.
Antonin Baudry is a former cultural counselor at the Embassy of France in the United States.
Pierre Vimont is a senior associate at Carnegie Europe.
Jan Techau is the director of Carnegie Europe.