EACL Newsletter

Issue 1

June 2001

Table of Content
  1. Why this Newsletter?
  2. Some views from the Chair
  3. Joint EACL/ACL Conference
  4. EACL organised Panel at Joint EACL/ACL Conference
  5. Schedule of EACL and International ACL Meetings (2001-2010)
  6. EACL Sponsorships
  7. New EACL Student Board
  8. Workshop of European Projects in Language Technology for Crosslingual Knowledge Technology
  9. European Masters in Language and Speech
  10. EU Commission's Proposal for a new Framework Programme (2002-2006)
  11. Funding for German Competence Center in Language Technology

1. Why this Newsletter?

This first EACL Newsletter initiates an attempt at improving communication between EACL (the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics) and its members. Without you hearing much about it, the EACL exists and has been actively working on promoting Computational Linguistics in Europe since 1982. We would like this to change -- we would like you to hear from us and vice versa, we would like to hear from you about any suggestions you might have regarding what the EACL should and should not be.

Coming out twice a year, this newsletter will bring you EACL related news: news about changes in the EACL organisation; about activities organised or supported by EACL and about the relation between EACL and its parent institution, the ACL (Association for Computational Linguistics).

It will also carry news about major European happenings or events.

By default, all EACL members receives this newsletter. If you don't want to receive it again, please send an email saying so to: newsletter@eacl.org

Similarly, if you have any suggestions about the newsletter or would like to submit some information to it, please send these to that email adress.

Claire Gardent

2. Some views from the Chair

There are over 450 members of the EACL (comprising 24% of ACL membership), and it's probably true to say that most of you know very little about EACL's relationship to the ACL and its activities beyond the biennial EACL conference. With its internationalisation, the ACL has had to define a new formal relationship with its Chapters -- now not just the EACL, but the newly formed NAACL and the much hoped for Asian chapter. This has recently been finalised. In a nutshell: Given all this, the occasional tweetings of a little bird in places like ELSNews to the tune of US­domination­of­ACL­and­ACL­imperialism­towards­EACL make little sense. With a regular fair whack of Europeans on the ACL executive committee (and yes, I count myself as one of those!), two European Presidents of the ACL in the recent past, and a European as the upcoming President, it's increasingly hard to sustain the misperception of ACL as unsupportive of its European members.

A valid criticism, though, is that the EACL has not been good at promoting itself and its activities -- for example, our involvement with the European Masters in Speech and Language, or our regular sponsorship of a course at ESSLLI on computational linguistics -- before we started this newsletter, that is. And our conferences have been very low-key compared to, say, ACL or LREC. But that's another story for another issue of the newsletter.

See you in Toulouse!

Donia Scott
Chair of the EACL Board

3. Joint EACL/ACL Conference

The next joint EACL/ACL Meeting is almost upon us --- it will be held in Toulouse, France, from 6-11 July 2001 and early registration already totals 445 participants.

The program consists of 11 workshops, 5 tutorials and the main conference.

There is some fun too! The banquet held on Tuesday 10th June from 7p.m. will be very special. It is held in an old gothic building and will feature regional food and music. Don't miss it!

4. EACL Organised Panel at Joint EACL/ACL Conference

As an addition to the usual conference program, the EACL organised the panel

  ``Directions for Strategic Funding for Computational Linguistics''

to be held at the Joint Annual Meeting of the ACL/EACL in Toulouse on Monday
July 9th 16.30-17.30.

Most progress in computational linguistics/language technology can be
attributed to publicly funded research and development. Although some language
technologies have already become profitable, public funding will remain one of
the strongest factors determining the directions of international research.

On this panel, leading figures of relevant funding agencies will present the
visions and priorities that govern their funding strategies. The following
non-exhaustive list of questions will be asked -- and hopefully answered.

The panelists will be:

    * Akira KUBOTA, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development
      Organization, Japan
    * Joseph MARIANI, Ministere de la Recherche, France
    * John PRANGE, Advanced Research & Development Activity (ARDA), USA
    * Bernd REUSE, Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung, Germany
    * Giovanni VARILE, European Commission, EU

The panel will be chaired by Hans USZKOREIT

5. Schedule of EACL and International ACL meetings, 2001-2010

     2001 ACL-EACL, Toulouse

     2002 ACL-NAACL, Philadelphia

     2003 10th Meeting of the EACL (venue to be announced soon!)
          ACL, Japan

     2004 ACL-EACL, Europe

     2005 ACL-NAACL, North America

     2006 11th Meeting of the EACL
          ACL, Asia

     2007 ACL-EACL, Europe

     2008 ACL-NAACL, North America

     2009 12th Meeting of the EACL
          ACL, Asia

     2010 ACL-EACL, Europe

6. EACL sponsorships

For some years now, EACL has been sponsoring the ESSLLI summer schools (European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information). The EACL policy is to sponsor a given course rather than the summer school in general; in particular, it is to sponsor a course that will bring more people to Computational Linguistics, so the chosen course always is a foundational or introductory course. In the recent past, EACL has sponsored the following courses: ESSLLI'2001 is to be held in Helsinki, Finland, 13-14 August 2001 and the EACL sponsored course is: The EACL covers travel and accommodation costs for one of the two lecturers. In return for sponsorship, members of EACL get a reduced registration fee at ESSLLI. So don't forget to mention your EACL affilliation when you register!

7. New EACL Student Board

A new EACL institution has sprung into life: the EACL Student Board. This board consists of three members and was nominated for three years by the EACL Advisory Board: The role of the EACL Student Board is to generally assist the EACL Board with the realisation of EACL related tasks. In a first phase, the Student Board will concentrate on two main tasks: the extension and maintenance of the EACL web site and the organisation of the EACL conference Student Session. A first meeting of the Student Board is planned during the joint EACL/ACL 2001 Conference in Toulouse which will allow the Student Board Members to meet each other and to get acquainted with the EACL Board Members. We hope this new institution will bring the EACL the dynamic contributions younger people often bring to things and wish it a long and prosperous life. 

8. Workshop of European Projects in Language Technology for Crosslingual Knowledge Technology

On the 4th and 5th of May 2001 a workshop in Madrid brought together representatives of fifteen European projects concerned with developing or adapting language technologies for knowledge management. The project was organized by the project cluster CLASSiks  which is part of the initiative CLASS funded by the IST Program of the EU.

The projects presented their work in a variety of areas reaching from novel LT extensions to existing information management technology to crosslingual information and knowledge management systems.

The participants decided to join forces in several areas of collaboration: building bridges to the knowledge management community, acquisition of industry standard IM and KM software, reuse of lingware, tools and components, and research into common interfaces.

A representative of the European Knowledge Management Forum reported on the activities of this network and invited the projects to become users and contributors of the WWW Forum Knowledge Board .

More information about the workshop can be found at

9. European Masters in Language and Speech

One of the activities that is endorsed by EACL is the European Masters in Language in Speech, which receives European funding from the Socrates programme. European universities organizing existing or new curricula in this area can apply for membership of this system when they conform to a number of curriculum conditions. The European Masters aims to promote higher education and training of students in Natural Language Processing and Speech Communication Sciences by providing a common ground, and by promoting exchange of students and staff, industry placements, organizing summerschools and intensive courses, etc.

Together with the president of ISCA and the chair of the local examination committee, the EACL chair signs the Masters' certificates. Although these certificates do not have any official status, they at least provide a truly European quality stamp.

The programme is tightly managed by Gerrit Bloothooft. Take a look at the E-masters website for information about current participating sites, statutes, and criteria for acceptance. The latter are an interesting read for anyone involved in language and speech technology education, as they constitute a kind of "ideal" curriculum.  Some 30 students Europe-wide are finishing the programme, and are expected to be awarded certificates soon.

E-masters web-site:  http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/EuroMasters/

The first EMasters school was held at Chios in conjunction with the ELSNET summerschool (july 2000), and was attended by 12 students. A second one is planned in Brno (Czech Republic) later this year.  Brno Summerschool web-site:


      -- Walter Daelemans
      (University of Antwerp and Tilburg University)
      Member of the Masters Board for EACL

10. EU Commission's proposal for a new framework programme (2002-2006)

The EU's framework programme for Research and Technological Development is a major tool to support the creation of the European Research Area (ERA).

The European Commission has just put forward its proposal for the framework programme (FP) to cover the period 2002 - 2006. The FP proposal is a deliberate break with past FPs with regard to ambition, scope and instruments to be used in its implementation. The aim is to achieve greater focus on questions of European importance and a better integration of research efforts on the basis of an improved partnership between the various actors in the European research area. It reflects the result of intense preparatory consultation with the scientific and industrial communities and with public authorities at different levels.

Council Decision on 6th Framework is at

Look up COM (2001) 0279, from page 21 for information about IST (Information Society Technologies)

For Press Release and budget breakdown see:


11. Funding for German Competence Center in Language Technology

The German Ministry for Education and Research has granted funding for building
up a "Competence Center in Language Technology" in Germany. The grant was given
to DFKI and Saarland University. The new project is called COLLATE
(Computational Linguistics and Language Technology for Real Life Applications).
Funding is provided for building up a virtual information center, a demo center
and an evaluation center as well as for research in key areas of language
technology. The volume of support is 5 Mio Euro (2001-2003). The project is
jointly conducted by Manfred Pinkal, Hans Uszkoreit and Wolfgang Wahlster.

More information can be found at: http://collate.dfki.de or by writing to: