The Press Club Brussels Europe celebrated the beginning of its year-long presidency of the European Federation of Press Clubs
The welcoming Gala at the Brussels Town Hall (April 18th):
Celebrating the Brussels Press Club presidency of the European Federation of Press Clubs, the Mayor of Brussels City, Freddy Thielemans, invited over 230 guests to the magnificent Gothic Hall of Brussels Town Hall at Grand Place. It was a spectacular event and a welcoming opening of the General Assembly of the European Federation of Press Clubs, with guests enjoying not only the beautiful premises but as well the humourous speech of the Mayor who proved his multi-linguism with style.
The Mayor of Brussels receiving a Honorary Press Club membership card from
the President of the Press Club Brussels Europe N. Peter Nicolas Kramer.
General Assembly (April 19th) : from left to right Philippe Walkowiak (Press Club de Mons),
Gerhard Kneier (Frankfurter Presse Club) Maria-Laura Franciosi (Brussels)
The General Assembly of the Federation of the European Press Clubs was held in the Brussels Press Club on Friday, 19th April. On that occasion the Brussels Press Club started its year-long presidency of the Federation. New applicant members were welcomed: Kiev, Jerusalem, Lille, The Hague. Old members who decided to return to the Federation - Marseille, Milano, Liege - were welcomed back.
A "sparkling" evening !
The debate “On the future of the European, after Cameron's speech” held by Pub Affairs Brussels at the Brussels Europe Press Club on March 19, 2013 welcomed over one hundred (mostly young) people at this first of its kind event, who participated very actively with their questions.
The contenders were two British MEPs, Daniel Hannan (AECR) who skilfully supported the “against” case, and sir Graham Watson (ALDE), who supported passionately the “for” camp. The moderator, Kolfinna Baldvinsdottir, an Icelandic journalist and film-maker, added an extra sparkle with her questioning though keeping the timing strictly under control.
The secret of these events, as the organiser Monica Monico said, mentioning successful events already organised in Paris by the same group, is the speed of the “ping pong” exchange. The audience was kept alert listening to stream of quotes from European history but also from famous British poets and writers. These kinds of ping pong debates are a well known feature in British universities with their “debating” societies, but they are less common in the “capital of Europe” . So this was a very welcoming addition to the Brussels style of debates!
Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation
Economic complementarity, political differences – where is the China-Latin America partnership heading?
Dabate at Pres Club Brussels Europe on 6 March with Jiang Shixue, Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Renato G. Flôres Jr., Professor, Graduate School of Economics/EPGE, Special Aide to the President and Head of International Intelligence Unit of the Presidency/IIU at the Fundação Getulio Vargas
The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.
WTO : Free trade in a time of crisis
On 28 February 2013, Costa Rica Minister of Foreign Trade Anabel González was the third of nine candidates for the position of Director General of the WTO that Friends of Europe welcomed to discuss the challenges facing the WTO as it seeks to maintain an open, fair and rules-based trading system at a time of economic crisis and difficulty.
Brussels Labour Party Event
On Tuesday 26 February, Brussels Labour hosted the 2012 John Fitzmaurice Memorial Lecture. This lecture has been delivered by Douglas Alexander, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
Amina Mohamed – Kenyan WTO candidate
On Tuesday 26 February Friends of Europe welcomed Amina Mohamed is United Nations Assistant Secretary General and UNEP Deputy Executive Director. For over 26 years, Ambassador Amina Mohamed has served in strategic government positions, both domestically and internationally, and has built a distinguished career in public and foreign service. After rising through Kenya’s diplomatic ranks, she was named Ambassador of the Mission of Kenya to the UN in 2000. In this role, she represented Kenya within the UN system, and in negotiations with the WTO and other international organisations.
WTO : Free Trade in a time of crisis
Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Mrs Shada Islam,
H.E. M Arif Havas Oegroseno
On Tuesday 5 February Friends of Europe welcomed Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism & Creative Economy and the country’s Minister of Trade 2004-2011 for a Policy Spotlight debate at the Press Club Brussels Europe. Mari Elka Pangestu is one of the nine candidates for the top world trade job. On presence of the Ambassador’s of Indonesia, Japan and Mexico and many diplomats, the debate was moderated by Shada Islam, Head of Policy at Friends of Europe.
Virginie Taittinger New Year Party
Ambassador Howard W. Gutman and his wife having discussion with Virginie Taittinger on the occasion of the Virginie Taittinger New Year party at Press Club on Thursday 31 January
France in Mali
France in Mali: Now or never for European foreign and security policy?
French military operations in Mali have spotlighted the clear weaknesses of European common foreign and security policy. Despite unanimous EU support for France’s military mission, very little “visible” backing is being provided. Should EU common foreign and security policy focus merely on “soft power” or should it have a strong defence policy accompanied by effective military tools? Why were the “battle groups” set up as part of the EU’s security identity not made operational?
These were some of the key issues discussed at the Policy Insight debate co-hosted by Friends of Europe and SDA,
on 24th January at the Press Club Brussels Europe.
Participants included Arnaud Danjean MEP, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Subcommittee on Security, and Nicholas Westcott, Managing Director Africa, European External Action Service (EEAS).
Debate on Democracy in Pakistan
Democracy in Pakistan : Hopes and concerns ahead of landmark Elections
Briefing Roundtable organised on Wednesday 23 January
Democracy in Pakistan has a chequered history : long bouts of military rule have been followed by elections, the installation of weak civilian governments which are, in turn, ousted by military coups d'état. The country mau be turning a corner, however, are Pakistan's politicians doing enough to tackle the country's immense economic and social challenges ? What can be done to ensure the modernisation of pakistan's political parties ?
The meeting was held under Chatham House Rules and co-organised by Friends of Europe, Electoral Reform International Service (ERIS) and Democracy Reporting International (DRI) with keynotes speakers Zahid Hussain, Journalist and Correspondent for The Times Sajjad Karim MEP, Joe Brinkler (USAID), Michael Gahler MEP, Vladimir Pran (DRI) and as moderator Shada Islam, Head of Policy at Friends of Europe