2011: AFP’s Founding Statutes Translated into English
Version française de cette page : “Le statut de l’AFP traduit entièrement en anglais”
Last updated in March 2018
Since 2008, two successive French administrations have sought to change the law that defines the statutes of Agence France-Presse, and which define it as neither a publicly-owned nor a private entity. The conservative administration of Nicolas Sarkozy, who ruled from 2007 to 2012, first sought to simply privatise the agency, but faced with strong opposition both from inside and outside AFP, eventually opted for a half-baked plan that would have turned it into an ordinary company wholly owned by the state.
That plan fell apart when the CEO who had drafted it, Pierre Louette, suddenly resigned in February 2010. The following year, a conservative member of parliament put forward a bill that refrained from radically changing the agency’s status, but made important changes that were presented as making the it more compatible with European Union law, notably relating to state aid. These changes were finally adopted by the parliament in 2012, under the new Socialist president, François Hollande.
It had become clear that the battle over AFP’s future was becoming increasingly international, although paradoxically discussion of the changes remained a purely franco-French affair (and has remained so ever since).
I decided that it would be useful to have a copy of the law in English, and proceeded to make an annotated translation which was published by my union, SUD-AFP.
Announcing the publication to management at an official works committee meeting, I offered to provide them with an editable text of the translation, which I presumed could be of interest to an international organisation such as AFP. They never got back to me, and as far as I know my translation of this document remains the only one available to date. It is, needless to say, unofficial.
- Full translation of AFP’s statutes, valid as of 2017, on the “SOS-AFP” website
- September 5, 2011: “Antidote to Management Spin“: the Union’s announcement of the translation
- September 5, 2011: Background file on the “SOS-AFP” website
- Current French version of the law, on the official “LegiFrance” website