Looking round the European medical scene, I find the RCGP is affiliated to UEMO who curiously lack the French. There is also the CPME, again, without the French.
What is going on? The French are usually keen citizens of the European ideal. Very strange, and worth further investigation.
Update 17 August 2009: CPME functionary Irene Klepinine kindly forwarded a 22 July 2008 letter sent by the CPME executive to its members. It appears a number of issues led to the resignation of the French, Italian and Spanish delegations, but at heart this was a Romance/Anglophone split, the Latins accusing the CPME of lack of commitment to the multilingualism at the heart of the European ideal, which "should not be perceived as a cost or a constraint." Though plainly it is. Ho hum!
Reading between the lines, the "rump" of 27 countries who remain are those who are either anglophone (UK, Ireland, Malta), seem to have no difficulty acquiring English (Netherlands, Germany, Sweden) or the new eastern European states (Lithuania, Latvia) who, looking for a standard for a working language, (obviously) gravitate to English rather than French.
English is a dreadful language in many respects: I have recoiled in horror from even its simplest grammar. I'm certainly glad I learned it at my doting parents' knees and not in some sultry classroom where the sound of the bluebottle dotting the walls competes in monotony with the incorrectly stressed rhythm and fudged consonants of modern Latins, and the teacher tediously outlining a long list of exceptions to some rule or other. It could be taught much better of course. At base: the Romance idea that you can legislate for language, impose a grammar, rather than considering it a description of what actually is, and just get on with it. Poor things.
Anyway, along the way I have the answer to the question that started this train of enquiry, which is that it seems to be the Conseil National de l’Ordre des Médecins Français which forms the homologue to the RCGP in France.
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