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The excesses of the I&D group in the European Parliament: protest by the international press

(B2) The International Press Association (API or IPA in English) sent a letter of protest to the European Parliament on Thursday (June 13) against the attitude of the new nationalist group 'Identity & Democracy' (led by the League of Nord and the National Rally) who transformed the press room into a meeting room on the same day. Here is the text (in English). It interests everyone.

API-IPA strongly protests the way this morning's press conference by the new political group 'Identity and Demcracy' was conducted. During that press conference in the EP press room, tens of supporters of this group – taking seats intended for journalists – on several occasions applauded the speakers at the podium.

This is in clear breach of the EP's'Rules governing the proper use of the European Parliament's Press Room' (section 6). Colleagues who protested this behavior were boo'ed and reprimanded by the president of the press conference.

API-IPA considers this totally unacceptable. As stated in the rules, press conferences are not political gatherings, and those present have to refrain from showing approval or disapproval by any means. This behavior hinders the image and independence of our profession. If the European Parliament cannot guarantee that those who enter the press room respect our work, we must ask to limit access to press conferences to (accredited) journalists only.

By the way, it is not the first time we have problems with MEPs related to this group. We recall the recent incident where access to an Italian press conference (Salvini) was restricted to selected journalists, also in breach of the rules. The EP press rooms must remain accessible to ALL accredited journalists.

We ask you, and the Bureau of the European Parliament, to act to prevent these events from happening again.

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).