Origins of the Forum
The European Forum of official Gazettes was founded on 8-9 September 2004 in Vienna, Austria. Its inception can be traced back to an informal meeting of the directors of official gazettes held in Luxembourg on 11 April 2003. At this meeting, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Official Journal of the European Communities, the directors decided to foster increased cooperation between the official gazettes of current and future Member States of the European Union (see Members & Observers) by setting up an unofficial forum.
History and objectives of the European Forum of Official Gazettes
(paper presented at the Forum meeting 2004 in Vienna)
(The statutes have been amended at the Forum meeting of 15 September 2006 in Ljubljana)
The Directors of the official gazettes of the Member States of the European Union and of the Official Journal of the European Union:
- having participated in increasing numbers since 1998 in the symposia organised by the initiators of the project,
- desiring to work together to consolidate links between citizens, businesses and the public authorities of the Member States,
- keen to promote the dissemination and sharing of knowledge gained by each country by contributing to the co-ordination of strategies and operations of joint interest with a view to a common future,
have decided, having regard to their institutional status, to form the European Forum of Official Gazettes (here-after : “Forum”) with a simple collegiate structure, the provisions of which are as follows:
Article 1 (composition):
The Forum comprises the official gazettes of the Member States of the European Union and of the candidate countries as well as the Official Journal of the European Union. Observers from third countries may be invited by the Forum to participate in its work.
Official gazettes with no legal basis for activity in the field of publication of legislation may be invited to join Forum working groups.
Article 2 (aims):
The Forum has the objective of improving the mutual knowledge of the technological progress made by participants and of comparing their respective strategies.
Article 3 (activities):
At least one meeting of the Forum shall be held annually, at which the organisations responsible for the publication of the legal gazette shall be represented by their Director. Delegations are limited to two representatives per country.
The Forum shall promote the pooling of information and experience which may be of general use and maintain an Internet site for the consultation of documents and for dialogue between its members.
The Forum may decide to set up working parties of experts.
Article 4 (organisation):
The Chair of the Forum and organiser of the annual meeting referred to in Article 3 is elected amongst the members of the Forum at the meeting preceding the one where he or she takes office. This determines at the same time the venue of the following meeting.
The Chair of the Forum is assisted by representatives of two other official gazettes, namely his or her predecessor and his or her successor as Chair.
Given its institutional position, the Official Journal of the European Union will act as secretariat for the Forum and the working parties. It is responsible for maintaining the Forum's Internet site and, at the request of the Chair, it distributes invitations to meetings, proceedings, minutes and other documents.
Article 5 (agenda):
At the end of each meeting, the main points of discussion planned for the following meeting will be presented by the Chair of the following meeting.
The final draft agenda shall be distributed at least one month before the meeting.
Article 6 (minutes of meetings):
Each of the members of the Forum may publish all or part of the proceedings without this being binding on the participants as a whole.
Any communication posted on the Forum's website must be translated into English so that it can be understood and used effectively.
Article 7 (amendments):
Proposals for amending these Statutes may be submitted to the Chair by delegations. On request of the Chair, the Secretariat shall submit the proposals to the members for adoption via written procedure for which 28 days must be allowed for consideration. If no agreement on the proposed amendments is reached, they shall be included on the agenda of the next Forum meeting and shall be discussed by the members present if the proposing delegation wishes.