The World According to Plantu

Members of the AAPA met with the editorial cartoonist Jean Plantu, whose political cartoons have illustrated the pages of Le Monde newspaper for the last fifty years, at the Maison des Photographes in Paris. Himself accompanied by a security agent, Plantu discussed the threats to the freedom of expression faced by cartoonists, not only from authoritarian regimes or religious fanatics, but also…


Festive Summer Party

On June 20, we chose to edge slowly into post-Covid social life with a Summer Party instead of a Gala, held at the Caring Galley in rue Charlot (Paris 03), which features exhibits promoting social themes such as inclusion and diversity. Les Cuistots Migrateurs -- a catering company which employs refugees and migrants who cook and serve their native foods - provided refreshments. We felt the…


Air France-KLM CEO Travel Advisory

Air France-KLM CEO Travel Advisory And finally, in time for summer holiday travel chaos, on June 23, we met with Ben Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, at the company's historic offices in the Air France terminal at Invalides. Smith spoke of the outlook for holiday travel, telling us that AF had hired more than 60 pilots in anticipation of an uptick in travel and warning that ticket prices would rise.…


François Henri Pinault at Kering HQ

On June 14, we were invited to meet François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, one of the world's largest luxury groups, at the company headquarters in the 17th century Laennec Hospital building in rue de Sevres. FHP, as he is called, told us about his view of the future of luxury (he's aiming at Gen Z, while holding onto older clients who appreciate luxury's history), and he emphasized…


Kiev City Ballet Châtelet Rehearsal

The men of Kiev City Ballet rehearse the original piece “Boys from Kiev” during a visit by the AAPA. Since our meeting several of the men have returned to Ukraine to join the fighting. On June 9, Ivan and Katja Kozlov, Directors of the Kiev City Ballet, invited us to attend a rehearsal at the Chatelet Theatre's Pavlova  studio. The company was performing in Paris when Russia invaded Ukraine...and…


Interpol chief warns of surge in illegal weapons from Ukraine conflict

A surge of illegal weaponry into Europe and beyond from the Ukraine-Russia war is looming, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock told AAPA members on June 1. "This is inevitable," Stock said, adding that the high availability of weapons "will result in a proliferation of arms in the post-conflict phase, empowering organized crime groups in the region." The European Union and Scandinavia will…


The rise of the far-right in France is no accident

Just 10 days before the first round of the presidential election, the AAPA met Dominique Reynié, founder of the think tank Fondapol, on April Fools’ Day. Summarizing recent political history in France, Reynié dismissed the widely vaunted idea that each improved election performance by the far-right was an “accident”. On the contrary, “something was happening.” In its disappointment with the…


Paris 2024 Olympic Committee shows off its HQ

Our first meeting with the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee was held on Thursday, May 5, at their state-of-the-art, high-tech, sustainable headquarters in Seine St Denis, called "The Pulse." Tony Estanguet, President of the Olympics organizing committee, told us about the committee's three objectives: celebrating sports, engaging with people, and the legacy. He said their 3.9-billion Euro operating…


Russia invades Ukraine: now what?

On Feb 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, we held an on-the-record discussion, Russia-Ukraine-Europe: What Now?, via Zoom with two experts: Prof Marie Mendras, Russian specialist from Sciences Po, Paris and Prof Emeritus Douglas Webber, Political scientist & Europe specialist from INSEAD. Prof Mendras opined that Russian President Vladimir Putin's shocking and unanticipated move into Ukraine…


Freelancer seminar: avoiding payment delays

To help free-lance members develop a strategy for heading off such problems and for confronting them when they arise, the AAPA held a zoom conference on 22 March on recovering payments. Leading the discussion were Hans de Keijzer, Group Head of Organisation & Change – Policy Management at Euler Hermes Group, and Caroline Harrap, a co-founder of the Society of Freelance Journalists,…