Mikel Aguirre had chosen a motto that fit him neatly: "I go and I come back and vice versa." Unfortunately, this time he won't be coming back. Mikel left us last Friday at the age of 63. Colleagues in Brussels and in particular the International Press Association will always have fond memories of a meticulous journalist and an endearing personality. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, his family and his many friends.
Even within the API Council Mikel, who grew up in Belgium, but was still proud of his Basque roots, acted according to his motto. In 1993, a few years after his arrival in the press room in Brussels, Mikel, who was working at the time as a correspondent for a Basque television station, joined the board of API as a representative of the audiovisual press. He was with Teresa Carreras, Ignacio Martinez, Juan-Carlos Gonzalez as well as Fernando Pescador part of the great Spanish «cuvée» on the board of API in those years.
During the passionate debate within the API in 1993/94 on the transition to the French-English bilingual regime in the press room of the European Commission, Mikel chose a calming line, in keeping with his character. He declared that, on behalf of the audiovisual group, he could not take a position, but that he would not oppose bilingualism - a solution advocated by a large majority of the API Council.
A little later, Mikel left the Council to return in 2001 as vice-president. In 2002 he asked not to renew his mandate "following his possible departure from Brussels". Long years of "shuttle" between the Commission services and the world of journalism followed. Throughout this period he would keep friendly ties on both sides of this barrier, often quite invisible.
Recently, Mikel had worked for the "Media Monitoring" service of the European Commission. He was happy, full of plans, when he passed away.