Who are we ?

In 1999, under the leadership of Alain Audouard, President of the Chamber of Craft of Lyon-Rhône, international cooperation was developed to transfer the quality and values of French crafts abroad.

"The international commitment of the CMA du Rhône is first and foremost an act of solidarity to allow craftsmen and partner chambers to benefit from our expertise built up over time. The craft and consular companionship of craftsmen, the vocational and technical training of young people for a better employability, here and there. Sharing our skills, know-how, values and language is also sharing a vision of the world which is beneficial to the French craftsmen and for the influence of France in the world in general! "

Alain AUDOUARD

Our values

  • Entrepreneurship as a basis for local development.
  • Transmission through the exchange of know-how, the raise of the level of skills and professional qualification.
  • Solidarity through the sharing of work, knowledge, know-how, and the creation of professional fraternities.


With the idea of universal human development at the heart of our concerns.

A history anchored on the international stage

From 1956, the fraternal commitment of the craftsmen of Lyon and Cologne

In the mid-1950s, in the craft industry as elsewhere, the wounds left by World War II were still alive. The twinning, carried out in 1956 thanks to the decisive support of the International Liaison and Documentation Office (in French BILD – bureau international de liaison et de documentation), the Chambers of Craft of Lyon and Cologne, is all the more beautiful. An initiative that has long been unique in France!

Why Lyon and Cologne? Various points bring them together: a long and striking Roman presence in each of the two cities, rivers that meander through the city, the presence of a local tutelary figure, of a politician of national stature: Édouard Herriot and Konrad Adenauer, first Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) from 1949 to 1963, and considered the “father” of contemporary Germany.

Above all, it takes the will of a few men to attempt this rapprochement, in the name of a community of the same professions united within the same type of Chamber to forge contacts, to make them fruitful and to maintain them over the years. Extensive program. In the end, it was the Lyonnais who took the initiative for the rapprochement by organizing, in October 1956, the very first trip of a delegation from the CMA du Rhône to Cologne. A visit made possible in particular thanks to the support of the union of metalworkers. The following year, the Kölners (inhabitants of Cologne) returned the favor to their Lyon counterparts.

This approach was quickly duplicated: several dozen twinnings were thus recorded from 1962 (a year before the famous Elysée Treaty signed between General De Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer), national triennial meetings between German and French rooms.

Partnership accross Europe...

Since 1956 therefore, the two Chambers of Crafts of Cologne and Lyon have organized an apprenticeship stay in their region every year, during which these young people make a stint in a company, which corresponds to the jobs they are learning. Some even carry out a prolonged professional stay that “symmetrical” exhibitions make it possible to promote: from 1965 in Cologne and two years later in Lyon. The elected representatives of the two Chambers meet every two years to compare their experiences, discuss their respective developments and discuss the future. These contacts have forged an international fiber at the CMA du Rhône, which is initiated into the issues and potential of European programs. Thus, it was thanks to its twin, who had preceded it in this direction, that the chamber of Lyon embarked on European programs, such as Leonardo, which in turn involves its counterpart. Let us quote the projects:

  • THERMIE in 1999 for a technological watch on the different design modes of photovoltaic systems;
  • Interactive Europe Apprentices (in French Apprentis Europe Interactifs – AEI) to promote the mobility of young people (study of national specificities, creation of a website, initiation of young people and employers with a view to sending and welcoming foreign apprentices, etc.) ;
  • DESIRE: development of the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe, through the creation of specific training modules;
  • Europe of the spouses of craftsmen (2005-2007) which promotes the creation and experimentation of a European training module for the spouses of craftsmen;
  • MOBILITY (2005) which offers spouses, thanks to a trip to a European country, to know and compare their status, their cultural representations and training systems.

From the end of the 1980s, new partnerships were formed: with the Chamber of Craft of Diourbel in Senegal in 1987-1988 (as part of a technical and commercial support initiated by the APCM) , with the Budapest Chamber of Crafts in 1999. Commercial exchanges with Warsaw are also undertaken.

...and throughout the french-speaking world

In 1999, decentralized cooperation took place with the Region of Rabat Salé Kénitra with the professional training of Moroccan craftsmen, the training of executives of the Regional Chamber of Crafts and executives of the Regional Council of Rabat Salé Kénitra, strategic support Chambers of Crafts of the region of Rabat Salé Kénitra then of the Regional Chamber of Crafts of Rabat Salé Kénitra.

These discussions outside the borders are intensifying: development of training actions (supported by European funding) and economic activities with a view to opening up other outlets for Rhone craftspeople, the CMA du Rhône is going international.

The notion of consular companionship also appears, the CMA cooperates with increasingly distant and diverse sites: Lebanon (2007), Egypt (2009), Senegal (2010), Burkina Faso (2012), Congo (2013), Mali ( 2014), Guinea (2015), Côte d’Ivoire (2017).

Better, driven by the ambition to help its nationals to conquer new markets, the Chamber ensures the experimental participation of groups of craftsmen at the Spring Fair in Birmingham as well as at the Spring Fair in Geneva.

When it comes to exports, everything remains to be done; we have to organize ourselves. The creation of a national support structure, the FONDEXPA (Foundation for the development of exports in crafts) – a craftsman from Lyon won the national grand prize in 1995 – constitutes the first stage of the rocket. There will be others; a twinning with a academic dipoloma in international trade from 1988, specialist advice hotlines which, in 1989, will precede the assignment of an agent in this area from 1991, with the establishment of a file of craftsmen exporters, etc.

As a reminder, 1998 was marked by the EUROLYON operation, the first business meeting organized between 200 craftsmen from five countries of the European Union: the organization of translations remains a great memory for its managers ...

For the transition to the euro, the Chamber of Craft got organized to offer an awareness, information and training program. The Tuesdays of Europe from 1991, the integration in 1993 into the Euro Info Center Network, the creation of the International Department in 2008, the GO EXPORT training.

A new region heading toward the international scene

The CMA Lyon-Rhône became CMA Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes on January 1, 2021, and the story continues with a range of services that has grown considerably in recent years. Today, there are around ten European cooperation and mobility initiatives for business leaders, succeeding to the ones that have been organized in recent years:

  • CAIRCOS: Intergenerational learning (2010 to 2011, 18 months)
  • SCORE: Energy efficiency (2010 to 2012, 30 months)
  • GI LEARN: IGP Label (2013 to 2015, 24 months)
  • WOMEN IN SMEs: Recognition of joint collaborating skills (2013 to 2015, 24 months)
  • TEACH: Training in crafts, “difficult” audiences (2014 to 2016, 24 months)
  • CRAFTMANSHIP+: E-learning, innovation, creation (2015 to 2018, 36 months)
  • IPPON: Public contracts (2017 to 2019, 18 months)
  • CREATE / Atelier des Métiers (2017 to 2019, 18 months)
  • DuALPlus / Training of work instructors, ambassadors (2018 to 2021, 36 months)
  • MADAME / Equality between men and women (2018 to 2021, 36 months)
  • TRAPP / Long-term mobility for apprentices (2019 to 2021, 24 months)
  • ACCESS 3DP / 3D printing and crafts (2020 to 2023, 30 months)
  • ESTEEM / female entrepreneurship (2020 to 2022, 24 months)

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