Seminar on Creation of the National Version of the Acquis
Multilingualism is one of the main principles of the European Union. The language policy of the EU promotes the principle of linguistic equality, meaning that all official languages of the Member States are equal. As the equality of all EU citizens before the law and the right of all citizens to have access to all legal documents specifying their rights and obligations in a language that is intelligible to them form the foundation of any democratic structure, EU legislation has to be published in all official languages of the EU. Such a language policy is an expression and a guarantee of equality of all the Member States and their citizens.
By aspiring to become Member States, candidate countries undertake to accept and apply EU legislation to their national legal systems. The most important step in this process is the translation of acquis communautaire, or more precisely, the creation of the national version of the acquis. This process is extremely complicated, and can be regarded as the biggest translation project in any new Member State’s history.
One of the main challenges related to the translation of the EU acquis is the volume of texts to be translated. Moreover, new legislation is adopted almost on a daily basis. Therefore it could be estimated that about 200,000 pages will have to be translated before the Western Balkan countries become EU Member States.
Fortunately, we have seen big advances in translation technologies in recent years. IT technology does not provide results by itself: in order to effectively utilise the technology it is necessary to carefully plan the needs, to choose the most suitable software and resources, to monitor the quality – and to provide feedback loop and continuously improve the translation process.
In this course we will focus on the following themes:
1. Challenges in the preparation of the national version of the acquis: organization and coordination of the process, development of tools for document management, establishing communication with EU institutions, priority list as a „moving target“
2. Translation coordination and editing, control of the quality of translation, expert review, legal review, development of network of expert editors
3. Importance of IT component in the preparation of the national version of the acquis and the establishment of unified expert terminology
4. Establishment of terminological databases, development of manuals and glossaries
5. Finalization of translation, verification of the translation in Brussels
6. Cooperation and communication of a candidate country with the relevant EU institutions during the preparation of the national version of the acquis, updating of the priority list for translation, recruitment of lawyers linguists in Brussels, verification and publishing of translated regulations
7. Activities after joining the EU.
By the end of the course it is envisaged that participants will:
• Have an overview of the challenges and processes involved in creating the national version of the acquis, with suggestions for facilitating the process on the basis of past experience;
• Identify activities that they have to undertake in their national administration in order to strengthen their capacities to successfully address the challenges in the process of creation of the national version of the acquis;
• Have hands-on experience with computer-assisted translation tools;
• Have the knowledge how to use specific utilities in order to simplify or streamline their repetitive tasks.
In the main part of the course the participants will:
• Get answers about organizing the process of preparing the national version of the acquis with a special emphasis on document management systems;
• Get information on establishing terminological databases;
• Be provided with detailed information about what to expect during the process of creating the national version of the acquis, with practical suggestions of how to best handle each challenge in the process.
In the IT-related part of the course the participants will:
• Get an overview of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools (this is essential for beginners);
• Get answers to their specific CAT-related questions (this will be useful for advanced users).
Practitioners from the departments for translation/creation of the national version of the acquis from ReSPA members (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and Kosovo∗. Participants are required to have hands-on experience in the process of translation of EU legislation as they will be required to engage in group discussions and information sharing about the topics covered in this seminar. The IT-related part of the seminar will be especially useful for terminologists and translators.
Miljenka Prohaska Kragovic has worked in the Croatian Translation and Coordination Unit (TCU) since 2003. In November 2003, she became the Head of the Department for Translation of the Acquis Communautaire into Croatian and was appointed Director of the TCU in February 2011. As Head of Department Ms. Prohaska Kragovic managed the translation and revision project of the EU Priority List for the Special Edition of the Official Journal into the Croatian language, as well as other negotiating documents during the negotiation process. She was a member of the Government Working Group for the preparation of the Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. She was head of the Croatian delegation at the finalization meetings with legal services of EU institutions for finalizing translations of primary and secondary EU law. She is a representative (till 1 July 2013 observer) of the Republic of Croatia in the Management Board of the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the EU. In the past few years she has been actively engaged in transferring Croatian know-how and experience to candidate and aspirant countries.
Ana Rosic has worked in the Croatian translation and coordination unit (TCU) since 2008. She has worked as a translation/revision coordinator and language reviser in a series of chapters of the acquis communautaire: (1) General, financial and institutional matters (legislation relating to institutions, administration and staff regulations, financial and budgetary provisions, and general provisions); (6) Right of establishment and freedom to provide services, subchapters dealing with Insurance, Banks and Stock exchanges and other securities markets; (8) Competition policy; (10) Economic and monetary policy and free movement of capital; (14) Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments; as well as legislation concerning the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank. She actively participated in the finalization meetings with the representatives of legal services of EU institutions, and has an excellent practical insight into the process of creating the national version of the acquis.
Miran Zeljko began his cooperation with the Slovenian translation-coordination unit (TCU) in 1998 - in the initial stage of translation of the EU Acquis into the Slovenian language. He extended the functions of Trados terminology and translation memory software by developing web-based solutions, which allowed translators, editors, revisers, technical experts and other participants in this process to obtain access to the data, which would have otherwise been accessible only to the TCU team. This solution (with many additional features added in the following years) proved very useful, so it was later transferred to some other Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia) when these countries started translation of the EU Acquis. Since 2004, he has participated in several EU-funded projects in the countries mentioned above, and (to a smaller extent) in Macedonia and Kosovo. Since 2005, he has been working in the Translation division of the Slovenian Government.
Representative of the Legal Department, European Commission, TBC
In the main part, the participants will be provided with detailed information about the process of creating the national version of the acquis. During the course, the lecturers will use power point presentations on outlined topics, each of which will be followed by an exchange of experience /question and answer session. It is advised that participants actively participate in the follow-up sessions, so that lecturers can satisfy the participant’s needs, and that the course can take into account the varying level of progress of participating countries in the process of producing the acquis in their respective languages.
During the IT-related sessions, the participants will see the basic functions of the computer-assisted translation tools and will be able to use the software on the computers provided by the organizers of the seminars. If possible, it is advised that the participants bring their notebooks. They will thus be able to work in their usual environment, to install the software on their computers and use it when they return home.