Dear AAPA members,

A New Year is upon us and it looks set to be about as busy as the one we have just seen out. The French, European and international situations loom as being as news-generating and as demanding as they were in 2012.

This will be a challenge for us all, but it also provides us with opportunities to enhance the activity of the Anglo-American Press Association and allows us to make our mark again on the ever-active media scene here in France.

We achieved a lot in 2012: 16 premier guests and events across a broad spectrum of sectors; a new and improved banking system and the consolidation of our financial reserve for the future; more than 20 new and returning members last year, bringing in both “new blood” but also bringing back experienced, former members. The membership roll now stands at 107, the highest level for several years and we’re lining more new members in early 2013.

Thanks to a dedicated team, the Website ( has been greatly improved and this is vital as it is our showcase to the world. We have also created a Facebook page that will allow for intra-membership contacts and exchanges. This needs to be developed and more interested members need to sign up.

Moreover, our key event of the year, the Annual AAPA Gala, was once again a huge success and many thanks to all who contributed and, indeed, attended. We have a solid commitment from the British Embassy to host our next Gala there next summer.

There is much more to come in 2013. We start the year early with a Jan 8 lunch at the Finance Ministry with topical Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg. This will be followed shortly afterwards with a “field-trip” to Versailles with an exclusive visit and lunch to evaluate the ongoing work there and meet those who matter.

Much more is in the pipeline and the new committee is working hard to provide high-level events that are news-making as well as cultural and convivial and that will appeal to a broad swathe of our membership. A host of personalities and institutions have already been contacted and we are working tirelessly to get firm dates.

To continue the momentum, however, we need your support: Ideas, proposals, suggestions and constructive criticism are all valued and will help us fashion the 2013 programme to cater to all tastes. This was discussed during our lively AGM in December and the discussion should not stop there.

Strength in numbers is also one of our trump cards so I would urge all members to encourage fellow Anglo-American journalists to join.

Lastly, we pride ourselves on our independence and this is one of our major attractions to potential guests. To remain independent, however, we have to self-finance and that means paying our dues. At 95 euros, our dues have not changed for many years and we have waived the initiation fee for new members, keeping in mind the economic situation and the difficulties for the profession.

I would, therefore, call on you, as we resume our active programme, to submit your dues before the deadline of January 31. This will enable us to move forward with our Electronic Booklet in timely fashion and issue our AAPA Membership Cards.

The newly-elected committee is ready to serve and we are aiming for an even more successful year, with the full support of all our members.

Many thanks and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all.

-John Keating