36 services from 17 different countries are members of COTSOES. The number of services from any country is not limited. 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. They have recently been revised; the updated version is available in English, in French and in German.
Most of the work of the Conference takes place within its Working Groups. There are four Working Groups:
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:
The 18th session of the Assembly took place in Fribourg on 2 and 3 October 2014, chaired by the Terminology Section of the Central Language Services of the Swiss Federal Chancellery (2013-2014 mandate), in partnership with the Chancellery's three other services. From 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016, the Presidency will be held by the Translation Department of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Translation Department of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already expressed its willingness to hold the Presidency for 2017-2018.
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.