Twenty years ago when TEPIS was founded, a development had just begun in Europe that eventually led to a larger European Union in which TEPIS has become a major player in the course of the twenty years of its existence. As an onlooker from outside, I was always amazed at the dynamism with which your association became established - first on a national scene here in Poland and eventually on an international scene in FIT. As an attendant of one of the first fora on legal interpreting and translation here in Warsaw, I quickly realized how serious Polish legal interpreters and translators were about creating a legal basis for the profession, in defining the requirements for admission to the legal interpreting and translation professions, as well as in improving working and remuneration conditions.
Ever since TEPIS joined FIT, it has played an active role on the FIT Committee for Court Interpreting and Legal Translation, where the idea of a regular forum on legal interpreting and translation issues has become a standard feature. TEPIS, represented by Danuta Kierzkowska and lately also by Zofia Rybińska, actively participated in many of the EU projects of DG Justice that ultimately led to the foundation of EULITA, the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association, which was set up in Antwerp, Belgium, last November. TEPIS has joined EULITA as one of its first members, and Zofia Rybińska is one of the Vice-Presidents on the transitional Executive Committee of EULITA.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of TEPIS I was awarded honorary membership in TEPIS, and I have always been proud to have been acknowledged by my fellow Polish legal interpreters and translators for my contributions to our profession. Now that we are celebrating TEPIS' twentieth anniversary, I can truly say that TEPIS has come of age, and I already look forward to celebrating with you 25 years of TEPIS - the silver anniversary.