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European Forum of Official Gazettes 20042008 the Secretariat looks back on the Forums first 5 years

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Title: European Forum of Official Gazettes 20042008 the Secretariat looks back on the Forums first 5 years


1
European Forum of Official Gazettes 2004-2008-
the Secretariat looks back on the Forums first 5
years -
  • Forum fifth annual meeting
  • Madrid
  • 25-26 September 2008

2
  • I. From Luxembourg/Vienna to Madrid (a short
    history)
  • II. Establishment (form, objectives, name,
    composition, statutes)
  • III. Governance (organisation, language,
    working atmosphere, chair and secretariat)
  • IV. Achievements

3
I. From Luxembourg/Vienna to Madrida short
history
  • Proposal submitted in Luxembourg, April 2003
    (Meeting of directors present at the celebration
    of the 50th anniversary of the Official Journal
    of the EU)
  • Established in Vienna, September 2004 (inaugural
    meeting)
  • Annual meetings
  • Copenhagen Sept. 2005
  • Ljubljana Sept. 2006
  • Helsinki/Tallinn June 2007
  • Madrid Sept. 2008

4
  • Next meetings
  • (special meeting)
  • Paris 10-12 Dec.2008
  • -------------------------------------------
  • (annual meetings)
  • London 10-11 Sept. 2009
  • Vilnius in 2010
  • Rome in 2011

5
II. Establishment
  • Organisational form
  • Objectives
  • Name
  • Composition
  • Statutes

6
Organisational form
  • Main question in April 2003
  • Majority of directors present at the ad-hoc
    meeting in Luxembourgwere in favour of an
    informal platform
  • Solution
  • no incorporation or non-profit association, but
  • informal co-operation, a "forum"
  • Each year one official gazette sponsors a
    meetingand takes responsibility for presiding
    over the Forum for a year.
  • The Publications Office of the EC provides the
    secretariat.

7
Objectives
  • Exchange of experiences(coming together)
  • Study of technological and other common
    questions(working groups)
  • Documentation(was not part of the original
    mandate)

8
Name
  • Forum of what?
  • official journals official gazettes ?
    official gazettes legal gazettes ?
  • The preparatory work for the Forum was done in
    French "Forum des journaux officiels"
  • The issue of the distinction between official
    gazette legal gazette (Amtsblatt
    Gesetzblatt) came up only after the foundation.
  • "Forum of the official gazettes of the EU"
    or "European Forum of Official Gazettes" ?
  • The Zeitgeist of the years 2003-2004(Constitution
    Treaty July 2003, Enlargement May 2004, but in
    2005 FR and NL referenda)
  • Despite the name chosen in 2004, the Forum has
    been more an EU than a pan-European association

9
Composition
  • Issue, linked to (both aspects of) the naming
    question
  • Issue of official gazettes that do not publish
    legislation
  • The Forum is an association of legal gazettes
  • Pure official gazettes may be admitted to working
    groups
  • Issue of participating countries
  • Situation in 2003/2004 (EU Member States Forum
    Members)
  • Amendment to the Statutes (EU candidate countries
    Forum Members)
  • Permanent observer status for European countries
    outsidethe EU ?
  • What about non-European observers ?
  • Rules regarding membership have been left
    open-ended.

10
Statutes
  • Very solemn wording proposed by the Pinto
    Group(Legal gazettes from Portugal, France and
    the Czech Republic)
  • Adopted at the inaugural meeting in Vienna
  • Amended once, a year later in Copenhagen
  • adaptation of the text to the real life of the
    Forum
  • EU candidate countries become full Forum members
  • status of official gazettes that do not publish
    legislation

11
III. Governance
  • Hybrid framework (no EU group, but use of EU
    infrastructure)
  • No language issues (The Forum is potentially
    multilingual. English is the lingua franca)
  • Working atmosphere(from mutual respect to
    friendship)
  • Chair and secretariat (how decisions are taken)

12
Hybrid framework
  • The Forum is not an EU group, but uses (parts of)
    the EU infrastructure
  • The Forum governance is "multicultural" compared
    to EU working groups or the Council of Europe
  • Advantages of the hybrid ( free) framework
  • efficiency, flexibility, no red tape
  • legitimate solutions for political issues
    based on the policy of the European Commission
  • cultural differences not straight jacketed but
    felt as an asset

13
No language issue
  • Although English is the "lingua franca, all
    languagesare welcome.
  • As the Forum has no funds of its own, the cost of
    translation or interpretation has to be covered
    by the organisation wishing to use other
    languages.
  • In practice
  • Use of the local languages at some of the
    meetings (in Vienna, Ljubljana, Tallinn and,
    now, in Madrid not in Copenhagen and Helsinki)
  • At the first 4 meetings, the organisers offered
    interpretation for FR and DE, the main foreign
    languages of some delegates.

14
Working atmosphere
  • From mutual respect to friendship
  • This atmosphere makes it possible that
  • during the preparation of the annual meetings,
    the secretariat becomes part of the host team
  • the legal gazettes of two countries organise
    together an annual meetingin their capitals (not
    to speak of the boat)
  • The cordial atmosphere diminishes the risk of
    typical cross-cultural traps when working
    together
  • use of a foreign language, lack of tact, lack of
    openness, crossing offunctional boundaries, etc.

15
Chair and secretariat
  • Decision-making
  • The Chair (President Vice-Presidents
    Secretariat) meet 2-3 times per year(sometimes
    the Chairpersons of the working groups are
    invited as well).
  • Decisions are taken carefully and pragmatically
    (the scope of the decisions is limited to the
    concrete issue).
  • Relationship Chair-Secretariat
  • A true partnership.
  • Chair and Secretariat have always been on the
    same wavelength.
  • Bonds of friendship have been created, - not
    only between the Secretariat and the different
    Chairpersons, - but also between the Secretariat
    and the Forum Members.

16
IV. Achievements
  • What has been the outcome of the undertaking
    launched in Luxembourg five years ago?
  • a Europe-wide documentation on the publication of
    legislationand of the access to it
  • Working group reports (XML, Data capturing at the
    source, Authenticity, Archiving, Access
    financing models, Consolidation, )
  • Directory (in 2009) Guide
  • the tradition of successful annual meetings of
    the directors oflegal gazettes
  • an efficient network of legal gazettes in Europe
  • and which is the most important achievement?
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