The European Economic Association

Newsletter EEA

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The EEA's History

In the summer of 1984, following discussions between Jean-Jaskold Gabszewicz, Louis Phlips, Jacques Thisse and Jean Waelbroeck to set up a European Economic Association, Louis Phlips, then of the Universit Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la Neuve, approached several European collegues with such a plan. The proposal met with a sufficient positive response to call a meeting of potential founders. Thanks to funds provided by the European Cultural Foundation, the group were able to meet on 7 December 1984 at their Brussels office. Louis Phlips presided a meeting that enthusiastically approved the idea of a European Economic Association. The group set itself up as a Steering Committee and started to define the purpose and activities of the new association. It was decided that there would be an annual Congress, and European workshops would be organised regularly. Statutes were drafted by Anton Barten and the internal organisation was discussed on the basis of these. A nominating committee was formed, consisting of Birgit Grodal, Peter Neary and Jacques Thisse, to prepare the election of the first President. The European Economic Association was born.

A second meeting, sponsored by the European Cultural Foundation and the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs, of the Steering Committee was held on 3 and 4 May 1985, again in Brussels. In the meantime Jacques Dreze had been elected President, Louis Phlips, Secretary and Pietro Balestra, Treasurer. The offices of First Vice-President (President-Elect) and of Second Vice-President (Vice-President) were soon occupied by Janos Kornai and Anthony Atkinson, respectively. At this meeting, the Statutes of the EEA were put into their definitive shape, while the Steering Committee transformed into a Council and brought its strength up to 30 elected members. It was also formally decided to have an annual Congress for the first time in August 1986 and would be held in Vienna. It was also agreed to let the European Economic Review, existing since 1969, become the official journal of the Association as of the beginning of 1986. Angar Sandmo and Peter Neary joined the original editors, Jean Waelbroeck and Herbert Glejser, as editors of the EER. In 2003 the EEA launched its own journal, Journal of the European Economic Association

On 20 and 21 July 1985 the Executive Committee met for the first time in the Belgian seaside resort of De Haan. It was happy to note that European Nobel Prize winners Hicks, Meade, Myrdal, Stone and Tinbergen were going to endorse the founding of the EEA in a letter to prospective members. A Finance Committee was set up to recruit "Founding Institutional Members", who would pledge $ 5 000 USD over the next five years.

A membership drive was started. Council members were asked to approach their colleagues to become a "Founding Member". By early 1986 almost 900 Founding Members had joined up. Since then membership has increased and now stands at more around 3900.

Due to demand, in the first thirty four years of its existence the European Economic Association has gone through a process of rapid expansion of activities. Thanks to the enthusiastic cooperation of all officers and the financial support from the private as well as from the public sector supply, the EEA has been able to meet this demand.

Last update January 08, 2019
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