European Military Journalists Meet in Berlin
The congresses of EMPA have always provided military journalists of the 21 member states with opportunity to be introduced to the armed forces of the host nation and local issues of defence policy. This time the various organizational elements of the Bundeswehr informed the participants of the congress about the current tasks of the German armed forces. Among others, they were given a picture of the German air and missile defence, the Bundeswehr’s role in security policy, the activity of territorial defence forces, the workings of the reservist system and the local results of civil-military cooperation. The EMPA members had an insight into the ongoing work at the Bundeswehr central editorial office as well as its equipment and role in communication.
The military journalists participating in the congress were shown the memorial sites of the Cold War, the remains of the Berlin Wall and the visitor center where photos, films and documents preserve the memories of life in the divided country and its capital, from the Potsdam conference that sealed their fate to the ecstasy of the reunification. Thanks to the coincidence, the military journalists also had a chance to see the jubilee celebrations of the German reunification.
Still, at the congresses the primary tasks of EMPA are to assess the work of the organization and to take stock of the tasks ahead of it. President Līga Lakuča, the editor-in-chief of the military magazine Tēvijas Sargs of the Republic of Latvia assessed the work of the outgoping Board that was elected four years ago. After the congress approved the report from the outgoing Board, it elected the new officials. Brig.-Gen. Wolfgang Peischel, editor-in-chief of the Austrian military journal ÖMZ was elected president of EMPA. The new 1st Vice-President is Regula Ferrari, director of the Swiss security policy journal ASMZ, and the 2nd Vice-President is Mikko Illko, editor-in-chief of the journal of the Finnish Defence Forces. At the congress, expert journalist Swiss Andreas Hess, logistic chief of the Swiss print media was elected treasurer, whereas Austrian Col. Karl-Heinz Leitner, a staff member of the internet editorial board of ÖMZ was elected Secretary General.
The annual Best Photo and Best Article awards of the competition announced for the member organizations were presented at the congress. László Feith, the deputy editor-in-chief of the Hungarian military magazine “Magyar Honvéd” won the Annual Best Article Award with the English-language version of his article entitled “Christmas Truce. Live and let live”, which was published in the December 2014 issue of the magazine. Articles from 20 countries of the Association were nominated for the EMPA award. The awards were handed over to Károly Bozsonyi, PhD, General Manager of the MoD Zrínyi Non-profit Company. It was announced that next year’s congress will be organized by Norway, and Hungary will host the congress in 2017.
The Hungarian delegation also submitted a proposal of its own for the foundation of online media awards, which was positively received by the congress.
Photo: Military Film Studio