Thursday, November 26, 2015

General rules applicable to the Press Centre

The following rules apply in the Council Press Centre (Brussels and Luxembourg) as well as press centres where informal Council/Eurogroup meetings take place. The rules also apply mutatis mutandis in press centres where other meetings related to Council activities may take place, unless the host of such meetings expressly issues other rules.

  1. Access to the Press Centre is primarily reserved for journalists, members of delegations and Council staff.

  2. The inter-institutional press card, the daily accreditation badge, the special "European Council/Summit" badge or the six-month badge, attributed in accordance with the Council's applicable rules, must be worn visibly. Procedures for press accreditation are explained on the Council website:

  3. Press activities and briefings related to the Council (Council, European Council, Eurogroup, etc.) can be classified as:
    "on the record": the information may be attributed to the speaker by name; any statement or briefing made in the press room belongs to this category, unless indicated otherwise.
    "off the record": the information may be attributed to "EU officials" or "diplomatic sources" as appropriate; video and sound recordings are not permitted; only the speaker can authorise a switch to "on the record" conditions.
    "background": the information cannot be attributed at all.

  4. Journalists have priority access to the seats in the press room equipped with headphones for interpretation.

  5. Journalists have priority access to the workstations in the working rooms of the Press Centre.

  6. Press representatives taking part in photo/TV image opportunities (pools) must:
         - arrive on time; latecomers are not guaranteed access;
         - make sure that camera microphones are set to record background noise only (not conversations); if, despite this setting, conversations are nonetheless recorded, such recordings must not be used;
         - not ask questions to Heads of States and Governments, Ministers or other meeting participants;
         - comply with the security distances established in the filming zone;
         - leave the meeting room as soon as the signal is given;
         - avoid pushing and shoving.

    Non-compliance with these pool rules may have as consequence that the press representative and/or the media is banned from photo/TV images opportunities during subsequent meetings. API and the concerned press representative/media are duly consulted before such decision is taken.

  7. During press conferences, TV crews and photographers must take care not to disrupt the smooth conduct of the proceedings; to carry out their work during these conferences, they must occupy the places indicated by the Council Press Centre staff, who will take any technical needs and constraints into consideration.

  8. It is prohibited to film or photograph security installations and security staff.

  9. During press events, only journalists may take the floor to ask questions, after giving their name and the name of the media they represent.

  10. The Press Centre does not reserve workstations for journalists to use during high-level events. They may themselves reserve workstations in advance by indicating the name of the media and the journalist on a piece of paper taped to the chosen workstation. However, once the proceedings of the event have started, any reserved places not yet occupied will be freely available for others. Workstations equipped with an ISDN line are reserved primarily for media requiring this type of connectivity.

  11. Documents from third-party sources can be distributed in the press area only with the prior permission of the Press office.

  12. The General Secretariat of the Council is not responsible for any lost property belonging to members of the press. Press representatives are advised not to leave equipment unsupervised and to use the lockers provided in the press centre.

Press Centre contacts: Info desk: +32 (0)2 281 90 00 / Romain Sadet: +32 (0)473 86 54 37