In October 1999, the Management Committee of the Publications Office entrusted the task of preparing a new edition of the EuroVoc thesaurus to two new interinstitutional committees — the Steering Committee and the Maintenance Committee. These two committees are made up of representatives of the institutions involved in the project: the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors.
The Steering Committee is responsible for directing the EuroVoc project. In particular, it determines the objectives and priorities, lays down the overall timetable, decides on the use of resources and draws up the provisional budget. The Steering Committee is the authority which officially adopts each new version. This committee meets twice a year under the chair of the European Parliament. The Publications Office takes charge of the technical organisation of these meetings and provides the committee’s secretariat.
The Maintenance Committee, made up of permanent representatives of the institutions (mainly specialist documentalists), is a key component in the system. It has the task of examining the proposals for updating the EuroVoc thesaurus, and meets twice a year. The Publications Office takes charge of the technical organisation of these meetings and coordinates the work. A standing group in the maintenance team is managed by the Publications Office.
Edition 3.1 was developed with a view to meeting the urgent indexing requirements. In addition to the terminological updates and 142 new descriptors, this edition exists in two new languages, namely Finnish and Swedish. On 22 December 2000, two Internet sites were opened on the Europa server:
- for the public, the dissemination site presenting Edition 3.1;
- for the members of the Maintenance Committee, a special system which automates the shared management of the thesaurus.