Pardonpeton!

La vera aspekto de la retejo ne povas por esti korekte rigardata per via retumilo.
La adreso:
Universala Esperanto-Asocio
Nieuwe Binnenweg 176, 3015 BJ Rotterdam, Nederlando
tel.: +31 10 436 1044
faks.: +49 30 364280169
rete: vidu la liston
 
ON UEA AND ITS CONGRESSES
An update on the World Esperanto Assotiation (UEA) and its Congresses
UEA - the central Esperanto organization in the world

UEA is an international non-governmental organization enjoying special relations with the United Nations and with UNESCO. UEA is by far the largest of the various international organizations promoting the use of the international language Esperanto. It has members in 115 countries all over the world. There are 72 national Esperanto associations affiliated to the UEA and a further dozen national organizations working closely with us. There are also various specialist and professional international organizations which have a considerable membership worldwide. Many of these fifty or so specialist organizations have their own conferences, for which Esperanto is the working language.

Representatives in 101 countries all over the world

In order to simplify contacts and to improve the quality of services to its members, UEA has a network of delegates, or representatives, in hundreds of cities in some 100 countries. There are two types of UEA-representatives: professional ones (for services in various fields of professional or special interest activity) and ordinary delegates. These are authorized to give information on the work of UEA and to represent the Association in their city or town; they also normally take part in the activities of the Association. There are also youth delegates and one of the most popular features of this network is in the accommodation field.

Decision making: The Executive Board and the Director General

The main legislative organ of UEA is the Committee consisting mainly of national representatives; a less numerous group represents professional organizations and individual members. The Committee meets once a year, during the annual World Congress. The Executive Board consisting of 5 to 7 members meets 2 to 3 times a year in person, and in addition several times per year via video conference. The range of its authority is very large, although the most important policy decisions are made by the Committee. The decisions are carried out through the UEA headquarters in Rotterdam which is also the seat of the Director General, who is authorized (on behalf of the Executive Board) to represent the Association and its interests. The Director General is the key person in preparing all decisions to be presented and proposed to the Executive Board, which makes the final decision about the venue of future congresses, after examining all the circumstances and conditions offered.

The Permanent Congress Secretary & Congress Department of the UEA

There is also the post of Permanent Congress Secretary, responsible to the Director General and the Executive Board, authorized to represent the interests of UEA in congress matters. Once the decision about a congress venue has been made, he is also entirely responsible for the congress organization. The congress section of UEA performs the major part of the administrative work usually performed by PCO's: promotion, registration, financial records, correspondence, editing congress publications, arranging cultural and entertainment programs, lectures, accommodation, tours and many other associated matters.

The Permanent Congress Secretary is also responsible for development and research on the congress market, study of the venues, and the follow-up within the convention industry, relations with ICCA and other professional associations, fairs and exhibitions etc. He also has an advisory role in selection of the new venues.

The annual congress

The World Esperanto Congress is probably the Congress with the longest tradition among the international conventions, with a continuity of hundred years. The Congress has been held since 1905 every year, with the only exception being the years of the two World Wars. This gives us a kind of pioneer character within the Congress industry. UEA has thus more than 100 years of experience in organizing congresses, and is very proud of this tradition.

The Congress takes place every year. The Congress of UEA (known as the World Congresses) gathers on average about 2000 participants (since the Second World War it has varied from 800 to 6000, depending on several factors). The average number of countries represented is about 60. The World Congress usually takes place in the last week of July or first week of August, beginning and ending on a Saturday (8 days in total).

Prior to or immediately after the World Esperanto Congress some other Esperanto organizations also hold their meetings and conventions as well, such as: the annual congress of TEJO, the youth section of UEA whose congress gathers 300 to 1000 participants; Union of Esperanto Teachers (200 to 400), Ecumenical Esperanto Union (300 to 500), Union of Blind Esperantists (100 to 300), Union of Esperanto Speaking Medical Personal etc. These organizations have their independent organizational structures but UEA can mediate contacts.

The venue

The World Esperanto Congress has been held in all types of facilities: convention centers, concert halls, hotels, fairs convention premises, universities etc. But, considering the size of the Congress, UEA prefers to hold its congress in multifunctional and self-sufficient environments and in premises located rather in downtown areas or in their vicinity than out of the cores of the cities. UEA tries to organize a congress outside Europe every 3 years, in order to support the movement in other continents, and inside of Europe to migrate equitably between southern, northern, eastern and western and central regions of the old continent.

Meetings and tourism hand in hand

Another characteristic of the Esperanto congress is the very diverse program of events. In one brief, concentrated week, time is given not only to business meetings but also to lectures, provided by UEA and other Esperanto organizations, and presentations depicting the progress in the Esperanto cultural work during the year. A tourist part is of no less importance. One of the eight congress days is devoted to various trips in the surrounding area. Half day and whole day tours, starting every day, are also very popular.

The History and Future Plans

The Congress most recently was held in Nitra (Slovakia, 2016), Seoul (South Korea, 2017), Lisboa (Portugal, 2018) and Lahti (Finland, 2019). In the following years the Congress is going to Movita al 2022. Montréal (Canada, 2020), Belfast (United Kingdom, 2021) and Montréal (Canada, 2022). Bids are welcome for the years after that.

Criteria and terms

The Board has certain criteria in mind when making decisions, for example: the importance of a country from the viewpoint of the Esperanto-movement (e.g. need of support and impulse for the development of the national or regional movement) existence of a strong national movement in the country of venue (which could support the preparation and realization of the event) and material conditions.

The Congress has to be officially invited by an Esperanto body: e.g. national organization, local Esperanto society or similar. The invitation has to be supported by the local government and tourist authorities. The country of venue (specifically the Ministry of Internal and/or External Affairs) must guarantee that all the participants will be allowed to enter the country, regardless of their own country of origin. The inviting body must also agree to respect the Congress Regulations and Constitution of UEA, especially those referring to the political and ideological neutrality of UEA.

As a non-profit NGO, UEA is a very budget-conscious organization and so is the Congress of the Association. This congress has many special charms, but sober treatment of the financial matter is required. The delegates pay expenses from their own funds and usually are price conscious. Many of the delegates come from developing countries, and there are significant proportions of retired people and students among the participants. This is a people’s congress for ordinary people, not an elaborate meeting of executives financed by corporate funds.

The Congress itself usually can count on various subsidies from the national tourist or cultural authorities, which can often be an important factor in taking the decision about the venue.

The Bid

The bid should be placed only after some preliminary contacts with the UEA and with the national Esperanto-Association have taken place, and after mutual consent about the general interest to start the bidding process has been reached. The bid should include:

  • an Official Invitation by a national or local Esperanto organization, accompanied by a signed copy of the Congress Regulations of UEA;
  • an Official Invitation by a national tourism authority as well as by the local tourism authorities;
  • an Official Invitation by the City authorities;
  • an Official statement of the state authorities about a non-discriminatory visa policy for the congress participants, irrespective of their country of origin: a guarantee that every registered participant will be allowed access to the country;
  • an overview of the accommodation facilities in all price categories, including the cheapest ones, accompanied by average prices;
  • a proposal for social programs: excursions, tours, pre- & post congress trips (3 to 7 days); gala dinners, etc.;
  • a catering plan (based on assumptions that the service will be charged directly to the consumers).
  • a budget estimate, including the price of the congress venue;
  • a list of bonuses. (The usual bonuses offered are a national folklore evening, one or two receptions by the local authorities, local transportation (free or discounted) and some subsidies for special projects during the congress or a general subsidy or sponsorship).
  • a promotion plan. The promotion of the country and the venue should be covered by the local bodies. This includes folders, posters, representation at other congresses and similar promotional activities.
  • a transportation plan, including an offer regarding to make the national airline the official carrier.
  • an organizational scheme, including proposals for possible partners for UEA (PCO's, destination management, tour operators, caterers, equipment suppliers, etc).
Political support

The UEA Congress is usually supported by the governments and the highest authorities of the hosting countries. The Congress has a traditional post of the Patron of the Congress, which is usually performed by the head of the state. Recently this post of honor has been accepted by the presidents of Lithuania, Italy, Iceland and Slovakia. UEA expects a similar treatment also in the future, and that should be considered in the bidding procedure when inviting the Congress.

Besides there is the institution of the Committee of Honor, to which the most distinguished personalities of the host country are invited -- supporters of the idea of an international language, irrespective of their current positions in public life, their political orientation, religious beliefs etc.

Local Partners

Locally we need professional assistance from a booking agent and a tour operator, or rather of one partner that could mediate all the tourist arrangements for UEA and has a good understanding of conferences and conventions, a PCO or similar agency, bearing in mind that, in fact, we do not need most of the usual services of PCO's. It is important to emphasize that all communication with the delegates, from registration, booking of services to confirmation will be made through the UEA Head Office in Rotterdam, this being so because the only language used to approach the delegates is Esperanto. Good cooperation with an airline – which might be the national one – could be also welcome.

Differences from other conventions

Esperanto Congresses are very specific, differing from usual international meetings quite significantly. First of all: there is no need for interpreters. For the participants it is one of the main opportunities to use Esperanto internationally, particularly within their own specific field of interest.

Contacts are made very easily by means of the representative network. The entire list of these is printed in the UEA Yearbook; as well as in the home pages of UEA, besides with other important information on UEA and the Esperanto movement. Attending the Congress is meant to be a pleasure, as an integral part of the general activity for Esperanto during the year, and as a hobby. That is why a lot of cultural programs are also included: many concerts, theater plays (all in Esperanto language), and other social events and entertainment. The Congress has a very informal structure and character. The delegates usually tour a lot during, before and after the Congress

Linguistic characteristics

The sole working language of the Congress is Esperanto and all communication with the participants is in this language. This includes not only the speakers and the proceedings of the Congress, but also guidance on the tours, receptionists at stands, issues of daily news etc. Our delegates usually do not appreciate being approached or helped in English or other languages than the local vernacular and Esperanto.

General scheme of meeting rooms and other premises:

Day 1 Thu

Moving in with the material, 1 office needed

Day 2 Fri

Fixing up the premises, 2 or 3 offices needed
Setting up the book-shop (ca. 200 sq.m)

Day 3 Sat

Registrations (counters)
Catering premises
Committee meeting (square setup tables and chairs, 80 pax)
1 meeting room 100 pax theatre.
2 or 3 offices
Book-shop (200 sq.m)
Getting together/Esperanto Fair in the evening at foyer(s) etc.
Set up the Grand Hall

Day 4 Sun

Opening day, Grand Hall, 2000 seats.
1 room 400 pax
1 rooms 200
1 rooms 80/100
2 rooms 60
2 rooms 30
2 or 3 offices
Book-shop (200 sq.m)
Catering premises

Day 5 Mon

Banquet (Gala Dinner, 300 pax).
Dancing (Ball) 1000 pax

1 room 400 pax
1 rooms 200
1 rooms 80/100
2 rooms 60
2 rooms 30
2 or 3 offices
Book-shop (200 sq.m)
Catering premises

Day 6 Tue

Grand Hall in the afternoon and evening (Concert)

1 room 400 pax
1 rooms 200
1 rooms 80/100
2 rooms 60
2 rooms 30
2 or 3 offices
Book-shop (200 sq.m)
Catering premises

Day 7 Wed

Day off (whole-day excursions)
2 or 3 offices
Book-shop (200 sq.m)

Day 8 Thu

Grand Hall in the afternoon and evening (Concert)

1 room 400 pax
1 rooms 200
1 rooms 80/100
2 rooms 60
2 rooms 30
2 or 3 offices
Book-shop (200 sq.m)
Catering premises

Day 9 Fri

Same as Day 8.

Day 10 Sat

Closure, Grand Hall 09.00-12.00
Book-shop (200 sq.m)
Catering
2 offices
at 14h00 closing the doors

We also need some standard material and equipment: videos, overhead projectors, piano, copy machine(s), Internet connection etc. We will also need some desks for counters, some panels for posters etc. More details on request.


Universal Esperanto Association
Nieuwe Binnenweg 176, 3015 BJ Rotterdam, Netherlands
telephone: +31 10 436 1044     fax: +31 10 436 1751
info@uea.org
Supren
UEA, 2020