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Secretary's report to the 2010 Annual General Meeting

 

It has been a very challenging year, taking on the Secretary’s role from Celia Hampton. It was not helped by the European Parliament’s move to new premises in the autumn, which took longer than we’d hoped for, while they refurbished Europe House in Smith Square. Staff at the Finnish Institute, the alternative premises that we were able to use for some of our meetings, were very helpful but, of course, it cost the AEJ more.

Celia has provided great support in helping me to get my act together in taking over her former role at the AEJ. As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, since relinquishing her secretarial role, Celia has been able to spend more time on managing our website which I’m sure you’ve already noticed now provides a wider range of information and is regularly updated.

In 2010 we had 41 members and the officers of the Committee were:

Chairman : William Horsley

Secretary : Margaret Hughes

Treasurer : Mike Springate

Events Director : David Lennon

Regular lunchtime meetings in 2010 were held with the following guests:

Professor Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Adviser to Defra

Lord (David) Howell, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the House of Lords

Lord (Alex) Carlile QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

Mr Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director, Transparency International (UK)

Professor Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School of Governance

Professor Peter Hennessy, Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary College, University of London

HE Mr Carles Casajuana i Palet, Spanish Ambassador to the UK

Lord Guthrie, Former Chief of the Defence Staff

 

 

Mr Ma'ajid Nawaz, co-founder and co-director of Quilliam, the counter-terrorism think tank

Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament

Dr Richard Youngs, Director of the European think-tank FRIDE and author of Europe's Decline and Fall

Ambassador Marc Otte, EU Special Representative for the Middle East

In 2011, we today met Kim Traavik, Norwegian Ambassador to the UK. Our next speaker will be Christopher Andrew, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Cambridge University, Official Historian of MI5, on 15 February. Also lined up as future speakers are Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, and William D. Barnard, Chair of Democrats Abroad UK.

Other events

The topic of 2010’s World Press Freedom Day Debate on 9 April, hosted by the Frontline Club and chaired by AEJ Chairman William Horsley, was the impact of new unregulated online media on the coverage of democracy and, in particular, on the year’s UK general election campaign. The motion that “unregulated political comment online helps the democratic process” was approved by 40 votes to 15 (1 abstention). And, as you will see in his report, William was actively involved as the AEJ’s Media Freedom Representative in several related initiatives last year and will continue to do so this year.

I was unable to go to the October AEJ conference in Ordu,Turkey, but William’s report fills you in on what took place at that event.

We had a good turnout at our meetings in 2010, which I hope will continue this year. I also hope that things will run smoothly!

 

Margaret Hughes, Secretary, AEJ UK Section

12 January 2011

 

 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

Chairman's report

Meetings