COTSOES was established:
To foster exchanges of information and experiences in areas of common interest.
To assist Member Services with translation, interpretation, terminology and language technology issues
To promote cooperation among language professionals in the public service.
56 services from 22 different countries are members of COTSOES. Central government translation, terminology and/or interpretation services from States outside Europe and from intergovernmental organisations may attend the Assembly as Participating Services, but are not entitled to vote. Representatives from services and institutions other than Member or Participating Services may, at the invitation of the Presidency, attend the proceedings of the Assembly as observers. The Rules of the Conference were established in 1982 in Bern in English, in French and in German. They have last been revised in 2021.
Most of the work of the Conference takes place within its Working Groups. There are four Working Groups:
Coordination and Communication
The Assembly meets every two years in ordinary session. The Presidency is elected in the Assembly for a period of two years, and the outgoing Presidency assists the new Presidency to ensure continuity. The principal duties of the Presidency are:
Drawing up the agenda for the Assembly
Organising and directing the activities of the Assembly
Circulating the decisions and recommendations adopted by the Assembly as well as the working groups’ reports
Preparing an account of the activities of the Conference
The 22nd session of the Assembly took place in Berlin on 5 and 6 October 2023, chaired by the Language Service of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. From 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025, the Presidency will be held by the Translation and Language Division of the Prime Minister's Office in Helsinki.
The working languages of the Conference are English, French and German. If the Presidency is unable to arrange interpretation at the Assembly, it can request assistance from Member Services. The working groups’ reports are prepared in all three languages.