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Hats off to the Czech Presidency for the organization...

(B2) Hats off to the Czech Presidency for organizing the informal meeting of Defense Ministers in Prague on 12 and 13 March. In less than 5 minutes, watch in hand, you have passed through the security gates, received your accreditation, the press kit (files, etc...). We direct you to the press room. Wifi and internet, essential instruments, work perfectly. No need to "tweak" anything more. There are plenty of places
sufficient. And we can work in peace without being 10 cm from each other (this is important for the confidentiality of sources). A layout, simple, but adequate for quick work: ground floor, the press conference room; 1st floor: the work room (bright, where you can see the sun of the day, which is pleasant); 2nd floor: the restaurant. With the hotel in the same building, for a modest price (50 euros) (*). In addition, everyone is smiling and available (without excess). No ultra-present massive security, either (but discreet and effective, that's what we ask of security).

Why am I describing all of this? Because, from what I have seen, previous presidencies have not reached this level, both in terms of simplicity and effectiveness. It's not out of improvidence. On the contrary, sometimes they want to do well, too well. As a result, they provide for rather complicated devices, with loss of time, reinforced security, etc. And that this presidency had been prepared for its lack of organization. So hats off to the Czech Presidency. Only downside: the ministers were placed in another hotel several hundred meters away. Suffice to say that the informal side of the meeting had a formal side. But that's another story - for once the journalists are happy, it must be said, too!

(*) Small explanation: the press was placed at the Dom Armady (the house of the army). A hotel building, right next to the General Staff, which is partly open to the public, in the form of traditional commercial exploitation (hotel business). But where part of the rooms, and the Klub, is reserved for the Ministry of Defense or its guests.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).