The British Community Committee (BCC) was founded in 1937 and is registered as a Loi 1901 association in France since 1939. It is the umbrella organisation representing the interests of the British community through its member British Associations in France.
The BCC operates under the registered logo britishinfrance and publishes the existence of its member associations so that British citizens in France, or those with British interests, know whom to contact to join. It coordinates the activities of the British in France by collecting information on events being organized by member associations, highlighting potential clashes of dates between events, and communicating the list to members. The BCC does not substitute itself for its members in organizing events but, in years when there are major British or Franco-British events, it may organize and promote such special events for the benefit of the whole British community. In a similar manner it can also act as a campaigning vehicle for important issues of common concern to the British community such as the current UK electoral law which limits the right to vote in their national of British expatriate citizens after more than 15 years abroad.
The main BCC activities include:
– Annual publication of the Directory of British and Franco-British Clubs, Societies, Institutions, Churches and Schools.
– Monthly collection, summary and distribution to member associations of a Diary of events.
– Organization of quarterly coordination meetings attended by a representative from each member association.
– Operation of a website www.britisinfrance.com to reach out to the broader on-line community and providing details of all member associations as well as the monthly diary of their events.
– Operation of a website (www.votes-for-expat-brits.com) and a blog (http://votes-for-expat-brits-blog.com), Facebook page (Votes for expat Brits) and twitter account (@Voting_Rights) in support of the campaign to remove the 15-year-limit on the national voting rights of expatriate British citizens.
The strong point of the BCC is that it can act as a single interface for the British community in France, in representing their interests e.g. towards the British embassy and consulate network in France as well the government in the UK.
The BCC’s costs as a not-for-profit organization are covered through its 100 or so member associations each paying a membership subscription of €20, complemented by additional income from donations, major events and its annual Directory of member associations for a total budget of over €3000.