Annie Benarous, member of the Euromontana Senate, passed away in October 2022, leaving behind an immense legacy for the defence of Europe’s mountains. One year after her passing, Euromontana wishes to commemorate her commitment to the mountains and her key role in the creation of a European association for our territories.
“I wish you every success as you continue to bring people together, especially young people, to pave the way for a sustainable future for the mountains of Europe and beyond.” Annie Benarous
A 1986 graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), Annie had a long career in agricultural administration. She began her career as an administrator in the mountain office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, where she was responsible in particular for issues relating to the CAP, pastoralism and rural development in mountain areas, before becoming an agricultural inspector.
In the early 1990s, Annie put her expertise at the service of the European Commission’s DG ENV as CAP and Environmental Education Officer. At the same time, she cultivated her belief in Europe and cooperation by promoting closer partnership between mountain areas in different countries.
Her commitment to Euromontana began even before its legal creation, when Euromontana was just a working group with the aim of building bridges between the territories of different European massifs. In 1994, Annie became the first Director of Euromontana and was at the centre of the organisation of the Krakow Conference (Poland) in 1995. With “those of Krakow”, she set the seal on the desire to create a European network of mountain communities. During her three years at the head of Euromontana, she helped to transform the working group into a real European network by creating and activating numerous relationships with mountain actors from all over Europe.
A member of the Euromontana Senate since its creation in 2004, Annie has never ceased to offer her expertise in agricultural and pastoral policy and to follow the evolution of the association with enthusiasm. With the same boundless enthusiasm that left us breathless, she pushed us all forward, always looking for new results, sometimes not obvious to the others, but which Annie was always ready to unveil in favour of the project in progress, the action being undertaken… and, ultimately, in favour of the objectives of the mountains.
The President, the Senators and all the members of Euromontana pay tribute to the memory of this European enthusiast and mountain convenor. Annie Benarous has made an enormous contribution to Euromontana for almost 28 years, and will remain an inspiration for us to keep defending the cause of mountains with the same energy and resolve in the years to come.
30 October 2023