The Academia Europaea is a pan-European Academy of Humanities, Letters, Law, and Sciences. The Academia was founded in 1988 as a functioning Europe-wide Academy that encompasses all fields of scholarly inquiry. It acts as co-ordinator of European interests in national research agencies.
The concept of a 'European Academy of Sciences' was raised at a meeting in Paris of the European Ministers of Science in 1985. The initiative was taken by the Royal Society (United Kingdom) which resulted in a meeting in London in June 1986 of Arnold Burgen (United Kingdom), Hubert Curien (France), Umberto Colombo (Italy), David Magnusson (Sweden), Eugen Seibold (Germany) and Ruurd van Lieshout (the Netherlands) – who agreed to the need for a new body. The two key purposes of Academia Europaea are:
It does not aim to replace existing national academy from respective countries. The objectives were kept deliberately broad covering the humanities, social and natural sciences, so as to ensure interdisciplinary discourse and activities. Initial modalities were to include annual meetings of members, multidisciplinary meetings, an interdisciplinary journal, a newsletter, providing independent advice, improving mobility of scholars within Europe and improving public understanding of science. The new body was named the Academia Europaea and its foundation meeting was held in Cambridge in September 1988 under the first President, Arnold Burgen. Hubert Curien, who was at that time the French Minister of Science (and later became the second President of the Academia), gave the inaugural address and provided the active support of the French government. The first Plenary Meeting was held in London in June 1989, by which time there were 627 members. Since 1989, the Academia Europaea has evolved from its origins as an organization of predominantly "western European" scholars into a pan-European Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Letters. The funding of the Academy is based on an original endowment, contributions from some of the member countries, special projects and by other organizations like the Leopoldina who is also supporting the Academia Europaea financially.
The Academy is not a pure science or pure engineering academy. It is an academy that include a range of subjects, covering law, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, religion, history, etc. Its mission is to:
The Academy endeavors to; (a) encourage the highest possible standards in scholarship, research and education, and (b) promote a better understanding among the public at large of the benefits of knowledge and learning, and of scientific and scholarly issues which affect society, its quality of life and its standards of living.
The scholarly interests of the Academia are managed through a section structure. On election, all members are assigned to a section. At the present time there are twenty academic sections covering
It elects members from 47 Council of Europe states in recognition of their academic achievements. Election to the membership has been celebrated by several institutions as an honor each year. Elected members are entitled to the post-nominal letters MAE. Assisted by the SAM secretariat, the Academia works together with All European Academies, European Academies Science Advisory Council, Euro-CASE and the Federation of European Academies of Medicine in a consortium called Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA). SAPEA pulls together scientific expertise from the pan-European Academia and more than 100 European national academies from over 40 countries, collectively providing independent policy advice to the European Commissioners. The Academia serves as official advisor to the European Union under the Scientific Advice Mechanism.
The Academia Europaea has published European Review (ER) since 1993 on behalf of members and in conjunction with the Cambridge University Press (since 1998). ER is a quarterly, peer reviewed and international journal.
Editorial control is in the hands of an independent board. European Review publishes articles and reviews that will be of broad interest to an intellectual readership, world-wide. Contributions come from academics, professionals and those in public life and address multi, and interdisciplinary issues across the sciences arts, humanities and Letters. European Review provides the AE with a vehicle for publication of articles from sponsored conferences and workshops. The editorial board invites specific contributions and reviews from opinion leaders world-wide. European Review has become available fully on-line.
The registered office and headquarters of the Academia Europaea is based in London. This is also the location of the General Secretariat.
In collaboration with local and regional partners, the Academia Europaea has established a number of regional hubs: