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.

The API Council shows little enthusiasm to drastically change the existing criteria. Inter-institutional accreditation should remain reserved for professional journalists, who (can) live from their work, and apply generally accepted journalistic standards, regardless of media type. If bloggers, podcasters, video casters etc. meet those standards, they must be able to obtain permanent accreditation.

The Council believes that there must be a strict separation between professional journalists and other types of media people, whereby only journalists have unrestricted access to all facilities and information intended for the media.

API will ask the IFJ/EFJ, which represents journalists' organisations worldwide, what criteria they apply for recognition of (new) media types. It will also be examined (NT) which accreditation criteria other large international organisations, such as the UN, apply.

– As soon the new Commission president is known, and his/her cabinet chief and/or spokesperson, API will approach them to present our wishes and suggestions for improvement compared to the current situation. There was a proposal to hold a General Assembly in September where colleagues can present their demands for the media policy of the new Commission.

– API has protested against events at a press conference in the European Parliament of the new I&D group, where staffers applauded and showed support, and journalists who objected were derided. This behaviour was/is a violation of the rules. From now on there will always be a press service member present at pc's where problems can be expected, to intervene if the rules are again violated.

– New security procedures at the European Council caused annoyance when an Arab colleague was subjected to a special check of his hands on 'explosives'. Comments from security officers gave the impression that he was picked out because of his appearance. That turned out not to be the case after a statement from the Council's press service: other colleagues were subjected to the same new random checks. Apologies have been made for insensitive statements made.

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On the Record Presentation and Q&A of the Prioriti...

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