All but one of EULITA’s currently seventeen full member associations and a surprisingly large number of its thirty-four associate members turned out for EULITA’s first General Assembly. The observers included representatives of associations interested in joining EULITA and representatives of organisations wishing to cooperate more closely with EULITA.
In her activity report the EULITA President informed participants that the Executive Committee had held all but one of its meeting during the year under review in the form of Skype meetings in order to establish a procedure for admitting members and to review applications for membership, to draft the Internal Regulations (which were adopted by the General Assembly after discussion and with a few minor amendments) and to handle all other pending business of the Association. With the help of Christiane Driesen it has been possible to produce most outgoing documents not only in English but also in French. EULITA’s website, its most important means of communication with members and the world at large, continues to be managed by (and with the support of) Lessius University College.
As the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings was on the EU’s agenda in 2010, EULITA was in contact with the European Parliament and other EU units in an effort to incorporate as many constructive recommendations from the Final Report of the Reflection Forum on Multilingualism and Interpreter Training *) in the final text. The Directive went into force in October 2010, and EU member states now have three years’ time to transpose it.
Since the launch of EULITA in Antwerp in November 2009 EULITA has joined the EU Justice Forum as one of the stakeholders in the judicial field, which has helped EULITA to establish closer relations to, amongst others, the CCBE (Council of Bar Associations and Law Societies in Europe) and the ECBA (European Criminal Bar Association) *). Two presentations to the e-justice Portal Committee were contributions by EULITA to this EU forum which intends to set up an EU-wide database to make legal interpreters and translators accessible on a cross-border basis. Cooperation with the European Master in Translation Network and the European Judicial Training Network will help promote the implementation of the EU Directive, as will the TRAFUT (Training for the Future) project that EULITA and Lessius University College are coordinating. EU funding has been obtained for TRAFUT to hold four regional workshops for those involved in the transposition of the EU Directive.
The Treasurer’s report and the Auditor’s report were the next items on the agenda, which were followed by the discharge of the Treasurer and the approval of the Executive Committee’s activity report. The General Assembly then accepted the Treasurer’s proposal for membership fees for 2011, which will give the Executive Committee more leeway for its activities. However, EULITA will have to continue to look for additional sources of income in order to be able to effectively play its expected role in the world of legal interpretation and translation.
The list of candidates for the election of EULITA’s Executive Committee included Maya de Wit’s name. By asking the President of EFSLI (European Forum of Sign-Language Interpreters) to be co-opted for one year as a member the Executive Committee EULITA wants to demonstrate what importance it attaches to sing-language interpreting. The Executive Committee was elected by secret ballot and consists of Liese Katschinka (President), Christiane Driesen (Vice-President), Zofia Rybinska (Vice-President), Kristiina Antiijuntti (Secretary), Lucia Castaño Castaño (Treasurer), Flavia Cacliagi and Maya de Wit (Members).
A number of questions concerning the admission of certain members, as well as interventions (at the request of members) with national judicial authorities were some of the points raised under “Any other business”.
EULITA thanked the BDÜ for generously hosting the General Assembly in Hannover, as well as the volunteer interpreters for giving up a Sunday morning to help EULITA to communicate effectively in the course of its deliberations.
on behalf of the
Executive Committee of EULITA
Antwerp, March 2011
*) The German and French versions of the Final Report, translated by members of the EULITA Executive Committee, and a Vademecum (Guidelines for judges, prosecutors, lawyers, etc for a more effective communication with legal interpreters and translators) – a joint project of the ECBA and EULITA – were presented at an information meeting held by EULITA on the day preceding the General Assembly.