After the baptism in Brussels the internet portal created and "grown" in Salento becomes a feather in the cap for the new Europe. Beyond all expectations, www.iusimpresa.com the on-line database in five languages offering the bibliography on Law and Economics - has achieved a big success.
It should have been a nice showcase in the Capital of the European Union, but it turned into something far more important, when Mr. Giorgio Mantovano, public accountant and author of this 'creature' as Executive Director of the Observatory - Studies Centre for Legal Informatics of Lecce, presented the website to the Members of the European Parliament. Mr. Gerard Collins, Eurodeputy and President of the session, talked of "a world 'premiere' that honours the European Union".
The Portuguese Eurodeputy Josč Ribeiro E Castro officially asked "to include also Portuguese among the languages of the portal, as it is the third most spoken language in the world" and announced that "the financing of this innovative tool will be proposed to the European Union". Mrs. Adriana Poli Bortone, Eurodeputy and Major of Lecce, has undertaken to make the project known in Europe, since she was sure that the Salento would be able to put forward great ideas for Europe. Last Wednesday the portal received one praise after the other which - at the end of the two presentations on the third floor of the European Parliament - turned into a standing ovation: a storm of applause for a project that combines the utopia of big enterprises - i.e. the whole law with your mouse - and the concrete synergies of an international scientific committee made up of professors and experts coming from Italy, Greece, Spain, Mexico and Brazil.
The deputies, who hadn't get to know the project yet and were now listening to Giorgio Mantovano giving full details, were greatly impressed: to consult free all the law information by shifting in a few seconds from English to Italian, from French to Spanish and to German might have just look like a mad idea, but the Observatory of Lecce has been concretising it successfully.
Monographs, journals of Italian and foreign publishers, case notes, libraries and so on are all available with a click by means of keywords, search engines and links.
In Lecce they worked two years for it, bringing together mother-tongue translators of the University of Lecce, experts (such as Massimo Melica, President of the Studies Centre of Legal Informatics of Bari, Giuseppe Sidella, Studies Centre of Taranto's trustee, Barbara Gualtieri, Professor at the University of Florence), professors of the University of Lecce, such as Michele Carducci and Ernesto Capobianco, and receiving hundreds of daily "contacts": for example, the student from Paris looking for a monograph in a German library, or the Spanish lawyer needing a sentence passed by an Italian court. To make contacts with the international scientific community: this is the "mission" of the portal, which is regularly brought up to date. This success would have been enough for someone else, who also met with some reluctances at first. But
Giorgio Mantovano won't stop and looks forward: "The European Parliament has been an important stage, but it isn't our final goal. The portal will go on growing day after day and still rely on team work, since Europe is expanding eastward and there are other universities interested in the project".
By expressing his thanks to Mrs. Poli Bortone for her role, the Eurodeputy and former Irish minister Collins was explicit: "There's nothing more annoying than seeking information and not finding any. We are eager to go to Mars, but we fumble for information. This project is a great step forward". The Portuguese Ribeiro E Castro went further: "I will contact the Portuguese universities personally, in order that they get into touch with this very interesting enterprise. With the "E-Europe" programme of the EU information promotion policy I have declared the prior necessity of offering this instrument in every language, and we will ask the European Union to fund these instruments for the fellows-to-be of eastern Europe, too. We will also put pressure on the EU executive committee to give access to the portal in as many languages as possible". From one capital to the next, www.iusimpresa.com is growing just like Europe.