29/06/2008 - Letter no. 3 - 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
- AEJ marks World Press Freedom Day across Europe
- Council of Europe Observership for AEJ
- AEJ delegation preview of Zaragoza Expo
- AEJ Congress 2008
- 2nd Paul-Henri Spaak Lecture by Commission VP Wallström
- AEJ enlargement
1) AEJ marks World Press Freedom Day across Europe
Many of the national sections of our association celebrated World Press Freedom Day 2008, on May 3 (the official date) or another day. Celia Hampton, AEJ Int. Vice-President and General Secretary of AEJ UK, made a great collage of the reports and pictures the sections sent to her. Click on www.aej-uk.org/wpfd-eur.htm for a complete view.
2) Council of Europe Observership for AEJ
The Council of Europe's Media Steering Committee (CDMC) has given our association "Observer" status. Our bid for this important and prestigious role was strongly backed by the membership at the AEJ General Assembly in Dublin last year. It means that in future we will be asked to contribute to policy deliberations in the CoE's meetings on many issues about the media and democracy across Europe. William Horsley, the AEJ Media Freedom Representative, presented the AEJ's credentials and discussed our future contribution at the CDMC meeting in Vienna on May 29th.
This is a very big step for the AEJ. We now share the same status at the CoE as the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). We will be asked to give expert opinions on controversial issues of the media and the law, society and politics. We may be asked to help with monitoring particular violations of media freedom and independence. We await more details from Jan Malinowski, Head of the CoE's Media and Information Society Division. This will be circulated to AEJ Sections once received.
3) AEJ delegation preview of Zaragoza Expo
Diego Carcedo, international AEJ President and President of AEJ Spain, invited all AEJ sections for a special visit and meeting with directors of EXPO ZARAGOZA 2008, a preview before the official Expo opening on 14 June.
The theme of the Expo is Water and Sustainable Development, one of the greatest challenges facing the human race. Have a look on http://www.expozaragoza2008.es/.
4) AEJ Congress 2008
After the good news in Newsletter 2008 no. 2 that the 2008 AEJ Congress would probably be hosted in Maastricht, Dutch AEJ Secretary-General Fred Sanders let us know that 'the Dutch section has not been able to gather sufficient funding for the organisation of an AEJ-congress in Maastricht in November 2008, even though municipal authorities in that famous and beautiful city have been quite supportive and generous.' Our Dutch colleagues have decided to try for a restart for November 2009.
We now hope, in two weeks time, one of our other sections (we can't tell you the name yet) will be in the position to announce an alternative to 'Maastricht 2008'. Fingers crossed.
5) 2nd Paul-Henri Spaak Lecture by Commission VP Wallström
Under patronage of the prestigious Paul-Henri Spaak Fondation, AEJ Belgium organised the 2nd P-H Spaak Lecture on 24 June. This year Commission's Vice-President Wallström took the floor for a fascinating lecture about the future of the EU after the Irish NO. She pointed to the responsibility of journalists in the process of European integration and provoked a very lively discussion.
The lecture was attended by our international President Diego Carcedo and a representative of the Paul-Henri Spaak Foundation, Paul Smets.
6) AEJ enlargement
Also in Newsletter 2 we let you know that for the first time the Serbian AEJ section was present at the ExCom meeting in Athens.
In the meantime the Finnish AEJ section took the decision to be a fully fledged member of our association again.. Welcome back on board! Patrick Humphries, a longtime liaison between our Finnish friends and the association, is their official representative and member of the AEJ Executive Committee.
More news on the subject of AEJ enlargement: active AEJ colleagues are working on establishing a Danish and a Bosnian AEJ section! We will keep you posted.