Friday, March 24, 2017

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API PROTESTS AGAINST ARREST OF DIE WELT-JOURNALIST IN TURKEY

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Today API-IPA issued this statement:

The International Press Association (API-IPA) protests against the arrest of the German-Turkish correspondent Deniz Yücel and asks for his immediate release.

Yücel was reporting for the German newspaper Die Welt and was arrested last week.

API-IPA, representing the interests of foreign correspondents in Brussels, is concerned about the restrictions for the press and the intimidations by the authorities against journalists. Under the martial law, introduced last July, journalists who are doing their job of reporting are criminalised as terrorists. This is an unacceptable assault on the freedom of expression.

API-IPA calls on the Turkish government to release Deniz Yücel and all other journalists arrested since July and to reestablish normal working conditions for the press.

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MEETING API-SPP - RÉUNION API-SPP

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On January 24th the API Bureau had its annual meeting with Margaritis Schinas and his staff to evaluate the workings of the European Commission's Spokespersons Service and the experiences of the foreign correspondents corps with them. This is a summary of the topics discussed.

  • Journalists receive priority access to the Berlaymont scanners in the specific press lanes during the hours of 10.00 and 14.30, and at other times if requested by the Spokespersons' Service. The sensitivity level of the X-ray machines is still in the process of being fine-tuned, especially in reaction to complaints from journalists.

  • security personnel at entrances to Commission buildings other than the Berlaymont or Charlemagne will no longer register names of visiting journalists. The yellow badge is enough ID. But visiting journalists will still have to be met and accompanied by EC-staff in those buildings.

  • links to the online "Upcoming Events", which contains the stable points of the agenda of the weekly college meetings and other upcoming college events are already included in the Daily News. The information will be highlighted even more in Daily News and other publications. The "Upcoming Events" will contain only items that are sufficiently stable to be published. The 'political' nature of this Commission makes it difficult to present a more provisional medium and longterm agenda, like the old Topnews.

  • Margaritis Schinas is willing to organize from time to time off-the-record/background briefings in the press room to present and discuss in advance the college's agenda and objectives.

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RENEWAL OF THE BELGIAN PRESS CARD - RENOUVELLEMENT DE LA CARTE DE PRESSE BELGE

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(Texte français ci-dessous)

Dear API-IPA members,

The Belgian Ministry of the Interior, responsible for issuing the official Belgian press card, has fallen behind in printing the new cards for the 2017-2021 period.

 

The Ministry has informed us that therefore, by a ministerial circular, the validity of the old 2012-2016 card will be extended until 28 February 2017.

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SAVE THE DATE: 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE IPC RESIDENCE PALACE

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On Monday 28 November, the Résidence Palace – International Press Center will celebrate its 15th anniversary.
To honour this anniversary, the International Press Association (API-IPA) is organizing a panel discussion on press freedom in Europe in the late afternoon. This session is followed by a festive reception in the Patio.

Please write the date in your agenda, the official invitation will follow.


Le Résidence Palace – Centre de Presse international fêtera son 15e anniversaire le lundi 28 novembre prochain.
A cette occasion, l’Association de la Presse internationale (API-IPA) organisera un débat en fin d’après-midi sur la liberté de la presse en Europe. Ce débat sera suivi d’une réception festive dans le Patio.

Notez dès à présent cette date dans votre agenda. Une invitation vous parviendra ultérieurement.

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DEBATE ABOUT CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

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The Association of European Journalists (AEJ) together with the Italian NGO Ossigeno per l'Informazione and the Press Club Brussels Europe organizes a debate on Thursday 27 October on occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI), 2 November.

Over 800 journalists were killed in the past 10 years in the world. In nearly all these cases their killers have never been brought to justice.

The event will consist of two sessions: the first one a panel debate on the geography of violence perpetrated against journalists in all its possible forms and how it has an impact on the work of fellow journalists. A second session will be centered on an Italian case and the work of Ossigeno per l’Informazione (Oxygen for Information) which has uncovered the cases of thousands of journalists, bloggers, photo and video reporters, who have been victims of intimidation, threats and abuse in Italy.

For more info, see http://tinyurl.com/zcvuz95

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IFJ CONFERENCE ABOUT IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

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To mark 2016 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) will organise a half-day conference on 7 November in Brussels on "Turning words into action".

According to IFJ statistics 112 journalists lost their lives when carrying out their duties in 2015. Today only one out of 10 killings in the media is investigated.

The conference will focus on concrete actions that can be put in place to end impunity for journalists' killers.

Location: Salle Maelbeek, Résidence Palace.

 

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API CONDEMNS CLOSING OF HUNGARIAN PAPER 'NÉPSZABADSÁG'

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The International Press Association (API-IPA) is concerned about the closing down of the Hungarian daily 'Népszabadság' last week. The voice of the Brussels press corps expresses its solidarity with the Hungarian collegues who might lose their work.
As 'Népszabadság' has been one of the media independent of the Hungarian government, without this newspaper, the ruling Fidesz-party will consolidate further its control over the Hungarian media. API-IPA deplores this new step towards a
media system that is incompatible with the principles of democracy and a pluralistic Hungarian society.

Brussels journalists expect the European Commission to investigate the circumstances that led to the end of one of the oldest and most respected papers in an EU-member state.

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L'Association de la Presse Internationale (API-IPA) est préoccupé par la fermeture du quotidien hongrois 'Népszabadság' la semaine dernière. La voix de la presse internationale à Bruxelles exprime sa solidarité avec les collègues hongrois qui pourraient perdre leur travail.

Comme 'Népszabadság' a été l'un des médias indépendant du gouvernement hongrois, sans ce journal le parti au pouvoir Fidesz peut consolider son contrôle sur les médias hongrois. API-IPA déplore cette nouvelle étape vers un système médiatique qui est incompatible avec les principes de la démocratie et avec une société hongroise pluraliste.

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YOUNG CORRESPONDENTS INVITED TO MEDIA-FORUM IN ST. PETERSBURG (RUSSIA)

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The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia) and the Mediacongress Commonwealth of Journalists is inviting young journalists to attend the XIth Media Forum for young journalists from Eurasia which will be held in the Hermitage Museum on 22 and 23 November 2016.

Young correspondents, editors, photographers, bloggers, directors and media-experts will then be able to take part in a 'Dialogue of Cultures' event, in which they can share experiences, debate issues and network with about 200 other young journalists and journalism students from Russia and from all over Europe.

Young correspondents interested in participating should go to http://mediacongress.ru/en, where they will find all information about the program, applications forms, and other practical information.

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API OFFICE CLOSED FRIDAY 7 OCTOBER

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The API office will be closed this Friday 7 October. We will be present again on Monday 10 October from 9:30 AM.

Le bureau de l'API sera fermé ce vendredi 7 Octobre. Nous sommes ouvert à nouveau le lundi 10 Octobre dès 9h30.

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THE GUARDIAN-CORRESPONDENT IAN TRAYNOR DIES

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The International Press Association (API-IPA) is deeply saddened by the passing away of Ian Traynor, veteran Brussels correspondent for The Guardian. Ian (60) died this weekend after a short illness. He will be remembered as a very well respected and much liked colleague. API-IPA expresses its condolences to Ian's family and friends. A minute of silence in his memory was held in the European Commission press rooom this Monday.

Ian will be cremated on Saturday September 3rd 11:00-11:30am at the Crematorium Uccle, Avenue du Silence 61 in Brussels. This will be followed by a reception in reataurant L'Atelier, Rue Franklin 28, from 12:00-17:00h. All colleagues are invited to attend, but they are requested to announce their presence at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , so that the family knows how many people to expect.

The family asks that instead of providing flowers for the service, anyone wishing to make a contribution in Ian's memory donates to the Cancer Research UK charity instead.

For an Im Memoriam see https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/aug/28/ian-traynor-obituary 

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SLOVAK PRESIDENCY PERSISTS IN 'NO LATE ACCREDITATION' POLICY

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Despite strong objections from API and many colleagues, the Slovak EU presidency sticks to its 'no late accreditation'-policy. That means that to be able to attend (informal) meetings in Bratislava, journalists need to have applied for accreditation at least three weeks in advance. The Slovak authorities require this deadline in order to provide their security forces enough time to perform thorough security checks on all applying journalists.

 

API has protested against this requirement, that journalists never had to comply with under previous presidencies, where late accreditation was always possible. But, in a letter to API, the Slovak permanent representative to the EU, ambassador Peter Javorčik, has informed us that the requirement will not be changed. See: letter_api-ipa.pdf

Accreditation will be valid for the duration of the Slovak presidency. Next to that journalists will separately have to register for each specific event in Slovakia. The ambassador informed us that the Slovak presidency will be 'responsive' to late or last-minute registrations for specific events, provided that the journalist has been accredited. But it is unclear what 'responsive' will mean in practice.

This means that it is necessary to apply for accreditation on the Slovak presidency website (eu2016.sk) at least three weeks before the first meeting you might want to attend in Bratislava, in order not to be denied access, like some colleagues have already experienced. So, in order to be able to attend the Gymnich-meeting of 2-3 September you will have to apply for accreditation NOW, immediately followed by the required registration.

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API OFFICE CLOSED - LE BUREAU DE L'API FERMÉ

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The API office will be closed this Friday 29 July. The office will reopen again on Monday 1 August.

The office will be closed for the summer break from Monday 8 August until (incl.) Wednesday 24 August.

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Le bureau de l'API sera fermé le vendredi 29 Juillet. Le bureau reouvrira le lundi 1 Aout.

Le bureau sera fermé pour les vacances d'été de lundi 8 Août jusqu'a mercredi 24 Août (inclus). 

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API PROTESTS AGAINST CRACKDOWN ON TURKISH MEDIA

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L'Association de la Presse Internationale condamne fermement l'arrestation des journalistes en la Turquie sous pretexte qu'ils soient impliqués dans le coup d'état du 15 juillet. Le regime de Recep Tayyip Erdogan se prend ainsi au media pour dissimuler son charactère autocrate et la liquidation progressive des libertés fondamentales. Le gouvernement turque craint les media parce qu'il a quelque chose à cacher. API demande aux autorités turques la libération immédiate et sans condition de tous les journalistes détenus!

The International Press Association strongly condemns the arrest of journalists in Turkey under the pretext that they are involved in the coup of 15 July. The regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes on the media to conceal its autocratic character and the gradual liquidation of fundamental freedoms. The Turkish government fears the media because it has something to hide. API calls on the Turkish authorities for the immediate and unconditional release of all detained journalists!

Tom Weingärtner

API president

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SLOVAKS REFUSE LATE ACCREDITATION - LES SLOVAQUES REFUSENT L'ACCREDITATION TARDIVE

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SLOVAK EU PRESIDENCY STUBBORN ON DENYING LATE ACCREDITATION FOR JOURNALISTS

 

API STRONGLY PROTESTS AGAINST UNPRECEDENTED PROCEDURE

BRUSSELS – API has received many complaints from Brussels correspondents about the procedure applied by the Slovak EU-presidency for the accreditation for (informal) ministerial meetings in Bratislava. This procedure makes late accreditation all but impossible, contrary to practices followed by all previous EU presidencies.


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AMBASSADORS PREVIEW NATO SUMMIT AT API HOUR

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On Thursday 30 June an API Hour briefing was held in the Residence Palace, in which the ambassadors to NATO for the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland briefed over sixty correspondents about the upcoming NATO Summit (8-9 July) in Warsaw. In the picture from left to right: moderator Hans de Bruijn (for API), the US ambassador to NATO, Douglas Lute, Polish ambassador Jacek Najder and deputy UK permanent representative Paul Johnston.

For a full transcript of the meeting: https://nato.usmission.gov/api-ipa-warsaw-summit-q-and-a/

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API HOUR ABOUT WARSAW NATO SUMMIT

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API HOUR in the Residence Palace


The International Press Association (API-IPA) together with the Residence Palace and Journalists@YourService invites the Brussels-based correspondents to:

 From Wales to Warsaw:


NATO facing new threats

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API OFFICE CLOSED UNTIL 1 APRIL - LE BUREAU DE L'API FERMÉ JUSQU'AU 1 AVRIL

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The API office will be closed during the Easter break on Friday 25, Monday 28 and Wednesday 30 March. We will reopen again on Friday 1 April at 9:30h.

Le bureau de l'API sera fermé pour le reces de Paques le vendredi 25, le lundi 28 et le mercredi 30 Avril. On reouvrira le vendredi 1 Avril à 9h30.

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IN MEMORIAM AHMED IDREES (1950-2016)

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It is with great sadness that we have learned that our Egyptian colleague and friend Ahmed Idrees died on Monday 14 March 2016 following a long illness which kept him more and more away from daily journalism over the past several years.

Ahmed Idrees arrived at the end of the nineties in Brussels from his previous posting in Pakistan. He very quickly became a familiar face within the Brussels press corps. We valued both his friendly character and his impressive ability for sharp analysis, especially on events unfolding around the Mediterranean Sea. He was a multilingual and spoke Persian, Urdu, English, French besides his mother tongue Arabic. He translated several Urdu books on Islam into Arabic and also authored in Arabic a significant work on Arabic literature in India after several years of research.

Ahmed, a longstanding member of API, worked for different media in Brussels such as AP TV, BBC World Service and Emirates News Agency. Our sympathies go to his wife and his four sons. He will be buried in Cairo.

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API APPROVES NEW STATUTES AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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API held an extraordinary general assembly, as well as the annual general assembly 2016 on Friday 26 February in the Maelbeek Room of the Residence Palace. The extraordinary general assembly discussed and approved a proposal for modified statutes. The annual general assembly 2016 approved the financial reports for 2015, welcomed Martina Herzorg and Nicolas Gros-Verheyde as new members of the API Council, representing the German and French colleagues respectively, and discussed the upcoming evaluation meeting between API and the European Commission Spokespersons Service. A full report of both assemblies is published below. In the picture (by Thierry Monasse) you see from left to right API's secretary-general Hans de Bruijn, API president Tom Weingärtner and treasurer Ann Cahill.

API a tenu une assemblée générale extraordinaire, ainsi que l'assemblée générale annuelle 2016, le vendredi 26 Février dans la salle Maelbeek du Résidence Palace. L'assemblée générale extraordinaire a examiné et approuvé une proposition de statuts modifiés. L'assemblée générale annuelle 2016 a approuvé les rapports financiers pour 2015, a accueilli Martina Herzog et Nicolas Gros-Verheyde en tant que nouveaux membres du conseil de l'API, représentant les collègues allemands et français respectivement, et a discuté la prochaine réunion d'évaluation entre l'API et le Service de Porte-parole de la Commission européenne. Le rapport des assemblées est publié ci-dessous. Sur le photo vous voyez de gauche à droite le secrétaire-général Hans de Bruijn, le président de l'API Tom Weingärtner et la trésorière Ann Cahill.

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Report of the extraordinary general assembly and the annual general assembly 2016

API held an extraordinary general assembly (EGA) on Friday 26 February 2016, immediately followed by the annual general assembly 2016, under the chairmanship of Tom Weingärtner, API president. There were about twentyfive members present.

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REMINDER: EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY - RAPPEL: ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE EXTRAORDINAIRE

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EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Members are invited to attend an extraordinary general assembly of API-IPA on Friday 26 February 2016, at 13.00h at the Residence Palace, Maelbeek Room.

Only topic on the agenda is the approval of new, updated statutes for the Association. The current statutes were made at the 'birth' of API in 1975, and were modified in 1993 and 2005. The API Council ruled last year that it is time to update, modernise and streamline the statutes again. According to the current statutes, this has to be approved by an extraordinary general assembly.

In attachment you will find the old and the proposed new statutes, to be decided. The proposed new statutes have been sent to all members by e-mail. (including an English summary).

This extraordinary assembly will be immediately followed (same time, location) by the

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