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Dear Colleagues, Please advise me on your personal experiences with EUCI Network. They seem a rather young organisation or group that is inviting EU-accredited interpreters to become their members. In particular those, who work not only for the EU Institutions but also on the private market. Actually, I like the idea. In my own portfolio, I combine both, assignments for the EU Institutions and assignments on the private market. Of course, on the basis I can well compare how efficient and smooth the interaction with SCIC flows and rather tedious and somewhat even educational style of interaction with private market clients who often do not know in-depth what a team of conference interpreters needs to deliver outstanding performance. Well, concisely these jobs would often cost more in negotiations and consulting time with the client and often would not yield more in terms of earnings. That is why I endorse the initiative in general. However, please do share your experiences and views on the network for the membership does cost money and the time I will be investing in the Network if I joined is not spent on other things. Moreover, they do not seem to have as many members and I am looking how to address for advice. Thank you very much in advance for sharing your thoughts, reporting your impressions and contributing possible knowledge regarding the Network and, if you can, recommending it to me.

asked 30 Mar '15, 10:23

ta_naye's gravatar image

ta_naye
65338

edited 08 Apr '15, 11:08

Nacho's gravatar image

Nacho ♦
73381532


In my more conspirational moments I wonder if it they haven't been put up to by the EU institutions who would benefit from another organisation "representing" ACIs at the negotiating table - as this would undermine AIIC and ACI's position in general. (Nice enough website, presumably cost some money.)

It seems curious for a group to piggy-back so blatantly on the testing and quality checks provided by the EU (presumably without their permission and so far without their objecting), to call yourself EU CI and then to exclude members of the only organisation that represents ACIs at the EU (that's AIIC by the way). And I can confirm they do exclude AIIC members. I had a very brief exchange of mails with them. On what grounds? To "give some visibility to ACIs who are not already affiliated to other associations". Strange strategy, sort of setting yourself up as a network for the disadvantaged? ;) An association for people who don't like associations?

As others have said... join AIIC! And if you don't like AIIC.... join AIIC and change AIIC!

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answered 02 Apr '15, 13:15

Andy's gravatar image

Andy
6.7k212839

edited 02 Apr '15, 13:53

4

Very interesting theory, Andy! While I like the idea in principle of beating agencies at their own game, and creating some easy way for end clients to get qualified interpreters and take certain jobs out of the grey market, the fact that they won't let AIIC in is strange. Also disconcerting is just how many of them have a litany of non-EU accredited language combinations available. I get that for some people the EU doesn't test a B, or a second A, or all of your Cs. But there were an awful lot of people who seemed to have AA, AAA, ABBB combinations, which is a big red flag to me.

(02 Apr '15, 16:39) InesdC

So many things are so wrong with this initiative that I don't even know where to begin:

  1. The network's main selling point is that its interpreters are all accredited to the EU and its mission is to make "ACIs better known [to private market clients] as a category of professional conference interpreters".

    Now, Auxiliary Conference Interpreters are an ad hoc staff category established by the EU within the broader context of collective bargaining between the interpreters' sole representative body, ie AIIC, and the EU. Using the concept commercially as this network of sorts attempts to do is downright misleading. If you're grateful for the ACI status, join AIIC instead.

  2. The network pretends it has professional interpreters "who have been selected among those listed on the EU database of accredited freelance interpreters".

    Selected by whom? How? There is no reference on the site to any organisation or responsible person. What selection criteria are used? Being an Italian booth interpreter and/or having no to little work in Brussels because of an unfortunate language combination? How's that for professional experience?

    But even if the site were touting only seasoned ACIs with many years of experience under their belt, how is an ACI automatically qualified to sell services on the private market?

    Speaking both as an ACI and a private market interpreter myself, let me just say that operating on the private market means much more than just knowing your languages and having the right language combination. You also need to learn about how to compose a team, how to get your client to accept proper working conditions, etc., in addition to being registered with VAT, and capable of writing a proper invoice... From that essential point of view, ACI status is no guarantee at all, since all ACIs work to standards that were negotiated for them by AIIC, thank you very much.

  3. Now, if you're selling or promoting services like this particular network is doing on a website, maybe you ought to check what the legal requirements are. A commercially inclined website in the EU must have a named publisher. This one does not, which means it is susceptible to a take-down notice addressed to the site's hosting company: Aruba S.p.A, since the Italian registrant is undisclosed.

If I were you, I wouldn't want to be associated with such a poor network.

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answered 30 Mar '15, 13:26

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck ♦♦
3.9k193350

edited 30 Mar '15, 13:27

Dear Mr V Buck, thank you very much for your clear and elaborate comments. I have read them carefully. I do understand that the good ACI terms and conditions of work were negotiated by AIIC, and still are being negotiated for all of us. However, for the languages that are not key leading languages of the EU but are still needed by the EU are not as easy to enter AIIC. On the other hand, there are indeed certain challenges on the private market (pricing, working conditions) that do require experience of a consultant interpreter. Often AIIC interpreters, however, are either not available to such languages or the few who are there are seemingly unwilling to cover the unexplored and often not-protected non-AIIC market. Why leave other this type of assignments to the so-called “grey” market? What not take them on-board? Now doubt, your comments do require improvement by the Network by wouldn’t you agree that ACI with fringe languages who are not yet AIIC members do require some support, guidance and the initiative should not be thwarted at its inception? Why not share rather than be an exclusive club? What do you think? Thank you in advance.

(31 Mar '15, 10:58) ta_naye

Is the network offering "support and guidance"? It doesn't say so. AIIC offers support and guidance and languages like the ones you describe are subject to waivers when applying for AIIC membership.

(02 Apr '15, 14:00) Andy

Hello there :-)

Experience with them, I have none.

I do see, however, that "all" they seem to be is a marketing concern, ie their rajson d'être is to "use" their accredited status with the EU to better market their services on the free market. I also note that they allow their "members" to post non-accredited languages/language combinations, which to my mind is at odds with their basic tenet... as is the fact that they also allow them to post services other than CI, by definition non-accredited.

I was also reliably given to understand that they do not allow aiic members - or, they claim, members of other associations, which facts do not bear out - to join their ranks.

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answered 30 Mar '15, 12:30

msr's gravatar image

msr
4.6k6923

edited 30 Mar '15, 12:33

Thank you very much for your critical points. Are there any advantages at all?

(31 Mar '15, 10:47) ta_naye

I can confirm Manuel. No to AIIC members. (See my answer to this same question)

(02 Apr '15, 14:01) Andy

I didn't hear about this group before reading about it here. I work mostly for the EU. I do get the odd private market job once in a blue moon because private market consultant interpreters, who are recruiting colleagues regularly, know where to find someone with my combination: in the AIIC extranet database as well as on one Belgian consortium's list.

Having looked at the website, I have the feeling that some people are trying to get a foot on the private market, probably because of the overall slow-down of the EU recruitment. I can understand that people need to supplement their income, but the website seems to be directed towards direct clients. Clients who are unlikely to find the webpage and who would need an all-included package, both an interpreter team and the equipment. Putting both together requires some knowledge and experience I don't think many EU-freelancers have.

As Vincent has pointed out, there are probably better ways of getting more work - and more subtle ways to put forward an EU accreditation to improve one's sales. One of them is certainly showing interest for our profession and the quality of service we deliver, by joining professional associations like AIIC. Having one foot (or two) in an association then allows to get to know people who actually do hire interpreters. At least that is how I would proceed if I felt the need to work more.

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answered 30 Mar '15, 16:18

G%C3%A1sp%C3%A1r's gravatar image

Gáspár ♦
6.6k141829

edited 30 Mar '15, 16:26

Hello Gaspar, thank you very much for your reply. AIIC membership is pricey and frankly saying for interpreters with languages like Azeri, Kazakh, Moldavian, Georgian, even Turkish etc. is hard to obtain. Think only of references, numbers of days worked on AIIC conditions, dozens of other requirements… However, if you were optimistic though how would you proceed with that type of the language combination? Where and how would you start? Many thanks in advance.

(31 Mar '15, 11:11) ta_naye
1

Hi,

maybe this would deserve a separate thread, as we're not talking about EUCI anymore. But in a nutshell: If you're EU accredited with any of those languages, getting a foot into AIIC shouldn't be that difficult, nor cost that much (150€/year for pre-candidates).

If you're not EU accredited, you wouldn't get onto the EUCI webpage anyways, so AIIC, besides maybe national associations, would be one of the few available choices to get known in the industry.

Yes, there are some requirements to join the club, yet it's not impossible, even when you're from a small booth working on a tiny market. AIIC for instance has admitted an Azeri A colleague about a year ago.

(31 Mar '15, 11:31) Gáspár ♦
5

AIIC membership is not pricey. It is less then the cost of a day's work. Frankly, it pays for itself through the networking and professional opportunities it affords to its members.

(01 Apr '15, 12:09) Anyuli Ináci...
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question asked: 30 Mar '15, 10:23

question was seen: 5,133 times

last updated: 03 Apr '15, 02:47

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