A working group to formalise the structure and purpose of the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ) has produced a Charter for consideration by agricultural journalist Guilds and associations in Europe.
British Guild chairman, Adrian Bell, our representative on the ENAJ project team, would welcome feedback from members about the draft charter before he attends the next meeting during a European Commission-funded facility visit to Denmark on June 4.
The EC proposed the formation of ENAJ to facilitate better communications with agricultural journalists in European Union countries. It has set up a website providing information on EU farm policies and is organising facility trips, such as the one to Denmark during the European agricultural ministers’ meeting, which will also be attended by Wales-based freelance Gaina Morgan.
“In addition to considering the Charter, another item on the Agenda falls under the heading of ‘financing’,” notes Adrian. “At the February ENAJ meeting in Paris, we heard that the European Commission’s agriculture directorate general is committed to financing the new organisation for 2012, including another event in Brussels in December, but beyond that the situation as regards funding is uncertain.
“There is an opportunity to apply to the EU for subsidy (under a clause relating to information measures relating to CAP),” Adrian notes. “But this involves ENAJ becoming a legal entity in its own right before the September deadline and before the eventual management team (as opposed to project team) has been put in place.”
Adrian has been tasked with creating a presentation suitable for potential sponsors and new country guilds with a view to securing commercial sponsorship to cover ENAJ events in member countries.
“However, the fact remains that some money will be needed to cover the costs of setting up the legal entity to achieve the EU funding,” Adrian notes. “That is at odds with the position I presented to the British Guild management Council last December when I understood that ENAJ would not require any contribution from member Guilds. As yet, I don’t know what total funding is anticipated – but the equivalent organisations to ours in Ireland, Belgium and Slovakia have already agreed to contribute.”
Adrian would also welcome feedback from members on this issue; please direct any comments or questions to him by email.