Agricultural journalists who established a European network to share food and farming knowledge throughout the European Union have elected a new management committee to guide and oversee the organisation’s growth and development.
Founded in December 2011, the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ), has been run for the past 12 months by an eight-member voluntary project team including Guild chairman Adrian Bell. All were elected to form the new management committee at ENAJ first General Assembly held in December, at which journalists from 17 of 27 EU member states took part.
From the left, standing: Adrian Bell (publicity officer), Eric Massin (France), Jesus Lopez Colmenarejo (Spain, new country liaison), Damien O’Reilly (Ireland, secretary). Sitting: Tatjana Cop (Slovenia), J ef Verhaeren (Belgium, chairman), Katharina Seuser (Germany, vice-chairman) and Hans Siemes (Netherlands, treasurer). Gudrun Andreasen (Denmark) was not present for the photograph taken by Ulrika Holmstrom.
Newly-elected chairman of the committee, Jef Verhaeren, a former president of the Belgian agri journalists’ association, said he was delighted that ENAJ had come so far in its first year.
“Europe may be many countries but we have commonality in our agriculture thanks to 50 years of the Common Agricultural Policy,” he said. “Now, as negotiations continue on the CAP’s future, the journalists who report on its content and effect, and its impact upon our agricultural economies, have a network in which they can share contacts, knowledge, training, understanding and professional support.
“We are extremely grateful for the support shown to the young network by the European Commission’s agricultural directorate and Commissioner Ciolos himself,” Jef continued. “We look forward to growing and building the network, both to support its existing members but also to bring in new members from the states that don’t currently enjoy the value and support of domestic agricultural journalist associations.”
ENAJ representatives are already talking to Cyprus, Portugal, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria, providing advice on setting up their own agricultural journalism associations.
Activities planned for 2013 include a young journalists’ study visit to Brussels in January; a trip to Italy in April to see the effect of last year’s earthquake on the agricultural industry; a briefing with EU agricultural ministers at the Informal Council meeting in Ireland in May; a study tour to England in July; and the annual assembly in Brussels in December.
A new website will go online in 2013; existing information about ENAJ can be found on the Ag-Press website.