Under the supervision of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (Ministère de l’Europe et des affaires étrangères), the French Institute in Romania (IFR) belongs to the French cultural network abroad. The mission of IFR is to promote cultural, linguistic, and academic cooperation, as well as collaboration with institutions and representatives of civil society. Established in 2012, the Institute has its headquarters in Bucharest and three branches in Cluj-Napoca, Iași, and Timișoara. It also fulfills the missions of the Cultural Cooperation and Action Service (Service de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle) of the French Embassy.
Although the presence of the first French cultural institution in Romania dates back to 1923, the French Cultural Center (Centre culturel français) was officially opened in 1936 in a building located at 77 Dacia Boulevard. This place symbolized Romania's openness to the outside world, being the last institution to close in 1945 and the first to reopen in 1970 during a period of relaxation in the communist regime. Several famous figures have brought renown to the center, including directors Paul Henri (1925-1932), Alphonse Dupront (1932-1940), and Jean Mouton (1940-1946), as well as the philosopher Roland Barthes, who served as cultural attaché in Bucharest between 1947 and 1949.
Currently, in each of its branches, IFR offers French language courses, assists and guides students wishing to study in France, organizes cultural events, and develops cooperation initiatives between Romania and France. Its activities are structured around three main axes: promoting the French language in schools, universities, and professional environments; disseminating French culture and artistic creations; and supporting the development of Franco-Romanian cooperation.