In Memoriam Willy Hélin - 1946-2019

Willy Hélin, who passed away on 11 October at the age of 73, was undoubtedly one of the most popular spokesmen ever in the pressroom of the European Commission. He was popular both with commissioners and colleagues AND with journalists. "Il fallait le faire – het moest gedaan worden", the son of a Walloon father and a Flemish mother born on the outskirts of Brussels could have said, actually in plenty of languages. Yes, he could even master the "langue de bois", the obscure newspeak so common in many press rooms. Of course, as a spokesman for competition commissioner Karel Van Miert, he didn´t sometimes have the choice. But even during those years, Willy managed to convey a clear message and information.

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1023 Hits

API MET WITH NEW COMMISSION’S MEDIA RELATIONS TEAM

On Thursday 3 October an API-delegation (president Katalin Halmai, SG Hans de Bruijn and Bureau-members Lorenzo Consoli and Michael Stabenow) had a first exchange of views with the leaders of the communication team of the upcoming von der Leyen Commission (VDL's executive communication adviser Jens Flosdorff, chief Commission spokesperson-designate Eric Mamer, and his deputy Dana Spinant).

Purpose of the meeting was to get acquainted and to discuss the many expectations, wishes and suggestions raised by correspondents in API's extraordinary assembly on September 24. For a summary of those issues see the report of this assembly distributed to all correspondents, and available on the API website www.api-ipa.org.

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455 Hits

CORRESPONDENTS' WISH-LIST FOR THE NEW COMMISSION'S COMMUNICATION TEAM

API-IPA organised an extraordinary general assembly Tuesday 24 September for members and non-members alike to discuss expectations, wishes and suggestions for the new communication team of the Von der Leyen-Commission. API-IPA will now ask for a meeting with the new leadership of the spokespersons service (SPP) to discuss these and establish a good working relationship. Below is a summary of the issues raised. 

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661 Hits

API Looks Forward to Cooperate With VDL & Team

API-IPA congratulates the new president-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

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473 Hits

Summary of the Meeting of the API Council on Tuesday 25 June 2019

In the EU inter-institutional accreditation committee the question has been raised if the current accreditation criteria are still up-to-date, or that they need to be reviewed, taking into account all kinds of new media (bloggers, podcasters, influencers etc.) who can be expected to ask for accreditation. After the summer a special meeting will be dedicated to discuss this issue.

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455 Hits

API Protests Breach of EP Press Room Rules by New I&D-Group

API-IPA has protested the behaviour of members of the new 'Identity and Democray'-group in the European Parliament, during the press conference in the EP press room where they presented themselves last Thursday 13 June. At several instances supporters of the far-right group, who were seated among the journalists, applauded the speakers at the podium. To people watching the press conference on their screens, this gave the impression that journalists were showing support, which was of course not the case.

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337 Hits

Renowned Belgian EU-Affairs Journalist Michel Theys Dies at 67

Michel Theys, one of the most experienced Belgian journalistes covering European affairs for many years, died this week after a serious illness. Mr. Theys (67) has devoted most of his professional career to his two passions, journalism and Europe. He campaigned for a committed and independent press, and defended the project of a political, more democratic Europe, capable of liberating itself from excessive intergovernmentalism. 

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605 Hits

Irish Journalist Lyra McKee Killed While Reporting on Riots in Derry

Last week Irish journalist Lyra McKee was killed while she was reporting on riots in Derry, Northern Ireland. The International Press Association (API-IPA) extends to the partner and family of Lyra McKee and to all Irish journalists our deepest sympathies and condolences on the murder of one of the bravest and most original new voices of Irish journalism. 

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552 Hits

Foreign Correspondents Deplore Low News Value of Commission Briefings

In his farewell speech as president of API-IPA, Tom Weingärtner deplored the decreasing news value of the European Commission's daily journalists briefing and an unwillingness to provide real answers.
"The news value of daily briefings has plummeted compared to the previous commission when it had already reached an all time low," Weingärtner told API's general assembly.

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555 Hits

Katalin Halmai Elected New API-IPA President

The general assembly of the International Press Association API-IPA today unanimously elected Hungarian journalist Katalin Halmai as its new president.

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479 Hits

API Protest Against Arrest of Spanish Journalist in Brussels

Our colleague Alvaro Sánchez, who is a correspondent for El Pais in Brussels, was detained and kept in a police van during a demonstration for the climate on the evening of 24 March in front of the Federal Parliament, Rue de la Loi. Alvaro was handcuffed, behind his back, for half an hour, despite the fact that he visibly identified himself as a journalist. He showed an accreditation badge visibly on his neck and stated that he works for the Spanish newspaper.

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354 Hits

Election of an API President and Two Vice- Presidents

As their second and last two year term is coming to an end, API-president Tom Weingärtner and vice-president Kris Van Haver will have to step down. And when former vice-president Eric Maurice unexpectedly resigned last August, the API Council appointed its member Dafydd ab Iago as interim vice-president until the next assembly, conform art. 7.3a of the API-IPA statutes. This means that the 2019 General Assembly on Tuesday 2 April will have to elect a new president and two vice-presidents. 

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250 Hits

DO NOT PAY the Belgian €50 Journalist ‘Security Fee’!

 The International Press Association (API-IPA) is surprised and irritated about the fact that the Belgian authorities this week sent invoices, demanding a €50 payment, to several accredited foreign correspondents in Belgium. The fee supposedly covers (mandatory) security screening for obtaining accreditation to the October 2018 European summit held in Brussels.

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450 Hits

Pressroom Commemorates Journalists Killed in Strasbourg Attack

On Tuesday 11 December, five people were killed in a random terrorist attack at Strasbourg's traditional Christmas market. Two of the victims were journalists: Italian Antonio Megalizzi (29) and his friend Bartek Niedzelski (36) from Poland. Megalizzi covered the European Parliament in Strasbourg, while Niedzelski wrote for local media and was also a well-known figure in the city's cultural life.

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424 Hits

Fifth Lénaïc Fund Brussels Fellowship for Young Female European Journalists

The Lénaïc Fund for Quality Journalism is offering a five-month financial bursary of up to €5,000 for a placement starting early March 2019 with one of its media partners in Brussels.
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493 Hits

API Condemns Arrest of French Journalist in Brussels

The International Press Association (API-IPA) – official representative of the foreign journalists in Brussels – is very concerned about the arrest, on Friday 30 November, of French journalist Rémy Buisine whilst reporting about the 'yellow vests' demonstration in the Brussels' city center.

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581 Hits

New EU Council’s Summit Badge Valid for One Year

The European Council has announced that its so-called 6-months badge for journalists wanting to attend European summit meetings, will be replaced by a badge that will be valid for one year – something that API has long asked for. It saves us the trouble of having to apply every six months: from now on once a year will be enough. Journalists can apply until the end of November.

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502 Hits

Daphne Caruana Galizia Commemorated – Murdered One Year Ago

Foreign correspondents in Brussels today commemorated Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese investigative journalist who was murdered exactly a year ago, while investigating corruption at the highest political level in Malta.

In the press room of the European Commission journalists and spokespeople held a minute's silence and a commemoration was also held at the entrance of the International Press Center Residence Palace.

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493 Hits

API Strongly Condemns Murder of Bulgarian Journalist

The International Press Association (API-IPA) is shocked by the brutal murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova of tv-station TVN. API-IPA strongly condemns this crime against a journalist who was doing her work, by investigating fraud with EU-funds. We expect the Bulgarian authorities to do their utmost to investigate the truth and to bring the perpetrators of this horrible act to justice. 

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374 Hits

Dafydd ab Iago, New API Vice-President

The API Council has unanimously chosen Council-member Dafydd ab Iago as interim Vice-President of the association, after the departure of Vice-President Eric Maurice, who recently left EUObserver and journalism for the Brussels office of the Robert Schuman Foundation.

Dafydd ab Iago, currently representative in the Council of the British media, will be Vice-President until the next General Assembly, in March 2019, conform article 7.3a of the API-statutes.

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565 Hits