Single European Fanac

There's been a lot of talk recently about Big European Conventions and other Euro-nonsense. However, most fans appear to have completely ignored the wide-ranging effects of the little known 1993 EU Directive on Fanzines, which becomes law throughout the Union on January 1 1997. Plokta would like to publish the directive in full, but the length of the document (497 pages plus preamble, preface, introductory notes, annexes, appendices, supplements and postamble) precludes this. We have therefore summarised the main provisions below.

Electrical Testing: All fanzines shall be electrically tested before being sent through the mail. Electrical Testing Boy has provided a handy guide to the procedure (pp.94-175).

Staples and Columns Directive: The number of staples and columns contained in the fanzine shall sum to five.

Paper Size: All fanzines passed for distribution in the EU shall conform to standard EU paper sizes (A or B series). It will be illegal to distribute quarto or foolscap fanzines after January 1, 1997. This will not preclude the importation of fanzines from outside the EU produced in other sizes (e.g. 8½ by 11) but these will be subject to stringent restrictions as laid down in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Fanzines will need to announce by 1 January 1998 whether they intend to be in the first wave of single European fanac. In order to enter the first wave, fanzines and faneds will need to satisfy the prescribed convergence criteria, as follows:

  1. Solvency. Fanzine editors should not have personal debt larger than their 60% of their net income.
  2. Sobriety. Fanzines should not be produced whilst drunk.
  3. Language. The fanzine should be available in all official languages of the European Union. Each language version must be proof-read by non-native speakers of that language.
  4. Trading. The fanzine must have been available for at least two years for the European Standard Usual, which is defined in the earlier 1984 Fanzine Directive. Fortunately for Plokta, the UK has obtained an indefinite derogation to allow pints of beer to be acceptable in trade for British fanzines. And Portugal insisted that the definition of locs include carrots.

Fanzines which are working towards the convergence criteria will be able to display the EU fanzine logo.

Euro Fanac symbolAfter full single European fanac is introduced on December 31 1999 (or December 31 2000 for pedants), egoboo will be freely tradable anywhere within the European Union, and egoboo gained in one EU country will be legal tender in any other. Note that this does not include egoboo obtained in Eastern Europe, which is not legal tender anywhere in the EU; Eastern European egoboo is subject to strict export controls and when brought illegally into the EU tends to trade at a considerable discount.

We trust that all readers will agree that these simple rules are not overly intrusive and represent the bare minimum necessary to allow a level playing field for fanzines within the EU. Plokta looks forward to further moves toward complete European Fanzine Union.

Gary's Trip

Gosh, the colours, like wow man...

Cosmic colours

I want a colour ink-jet...

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