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 network’s growth and development.
Founded in Brussels in December 2011, the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ) has been run for the last twelve months by an eight-member voluntary project team, all of whom were elected to the new management committee at this year’s General Assembly. Journalists from 17 of 27 member states took part.
Newly-elected chairman of the committee, Belgian Jef Verhaeren, 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 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 both DG Agri and Commissioner Ciolos himself. 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.”
Mr Verhaeren, secretary of the Belgian agricultural journalists’ association (BVLJ-ABJA) said ENAJ representatives were already talking to Cyprus, Portugal, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria and providing advice on setting up their own, new agricultural journalism associations.
The new committee comprises members from nine member states: Jef Verhaeren (Chairman, Belgium); Katharina Seuser (vice-chairman, Germany); Hans Siemes (treasurer, Netherlands); Damien O’Reilly (secretary, Ireland); Adrian Bell (communications officer, Great Britain); Erik Massin (vice-chairman, France); Tatjana Cop (Slovenia); Jesus Lopez Colmenajaro (new country liaison, Spain); Gudrun Andreasen (Denmark).
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 www.ag-press.eu website.
December 11, 2012