Friday, April 20, 2012: The Petition Suspended

Thanks to steadfast opposition by AFP staff, plus the over 24,000 signatures gleaned by the petition, the fight to save AFP's statutes from the attacks launched in 2007-8 has been in large part won.

February 29, 2012: AFP's public interest mission is written into its statutes

AFP wire story: "The Parliament on Wednesday cast a final vote that explicitly writes AFP's public interest missions into its statutes in order to defuse a conflict with the European Union." News, reactions

January 2012 : New Government Plan to Change Part of AFP's Statutes

As part of an omnibus bill in parliament, the French government is planning to change the phrasing of the article in AFP's statutes that lays down its relationship to the state. The agency's unions give their point of view

September 2011: Staff Rebuke CEO for His Stance on AFP's Statutes

According to the weekly "Canard Enchaîné", CEO Emmanuel Hoog has asked a PR agency with close links to the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy to help him promote plans to change AFP's statutes. Staff are not amused.

April 2010: Emmanuel Hoog elected to head AFP

Emmanuel Hoog, head of France's National TV & Radio Institute (INA) is elected CEO after the abrupt resignation of Pierre Louette. News, reactions.

January 2010: Staff Referendum on Changes to Statutes is Postponed

Pending the conclusions of the experts' group set up by Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand, the SNJ, CFDT, FO, SUD and CFE-CGC trade unions decide to put off the staff vote scheduled for January 12.

December 2009: Government Sets up Committee to Study Agency's Future

The five "experts" appointed by Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand include Michèle Cotta, Jean-Marie Colombani and Henri Pigeat, a former CEO of the company

December 2009: AFP Unions Announce a Staff Referendum on the Plan to Change the Statutes

"Do you approve of the plans for new statutes defended by the CEO and involving the transformation of AFP into a joint-stock company?" Joint union statement

November 2009 : AFP Unions Meet Speaker of French Senate

November 5, 2009: Gérard Larcher, president of the upper house of parliament, stated that due to a backlog of legislative business, the plan to change AFP's statutes was not likely to be discussed early next year.

October 2009: The First 20,000 signatures!

The petition for the independence and survival of Agence France-Presse, launched by the trade unions at the end of last year, has just passed the milestone of its 20,000th individual signature.

The Louette Plan Must be Withdrawn, Says the French CGT Journalists' Union

October 27, 2009 : "There are ways to let AFP develop within the framework of the 1957 statutes," says the Journalists' Union of the General Labour Confederation, France's biggest labour group.

AFP Unions Write to MPs and the Media

October 12, 2009: The AFP union branches which initiated the petition write to the French government and media to ask that the Louette Plan be dropped, and that a round-table conference then be convened to discuss "ways of financing AFP that remain within the framework of the statutes that guarantee our independence"

June 2009: Staff Mobilise in Reaction to Louette Plan

Following publication of the CEO's plan to change AFP's statutes, staff rallied outside the French Culture Ministry, where a trade union delegation was received.

October 2008: bid to privatise AFP causes storm; petition launched

After the official Giazzi Report, which calls for AFP to be privatised, CEO Pierre Louette is mandated by the French government to draw up a plan. AFP staff mobilise.

2007-2008: Storm Clouds Gather

Starting in late 2007, French political leaders begin issuing threats to rescind AFP's historic statutes and to privatise the agency. Staff mobilisation leads to the launch of the "SOS-AFP" petition in late 2008.

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