The early years (1987 - 1999)
EFPSA was established in April 1987, when students of the University of Lisbon in Portugal invited psychology students from all over Europe to a meeting. Here psychology students from eight European countries agreed to found the European Federation of Psychology Students' Associations: EFPSA was born!
The basic outlines of this Federation were transformed into formal statutes during the second meeting in Liege (Belgium) in April 1988. In January 1989, EFPSA was registered as an international association according to Belgian law. During the third General Assembly in April 1989 in Lund (Sweden), the Federation developed its structure. Also, in 1989, the first meeting of the Executive Board (EB) was held in between two annual Congresses and took place in Berlin. This ensured more continuous work during the whole year and better preparation for the General Assembly. At this time members of the EB also covered the functions that Member Representatives do now, and there were no
Board positions, just a President.
After EFPSA's participation in the first European Student Conference (which brought together about 500 students from a number of disciplines) in Liege (Belgium) in November 1990, a lot of new contacts were made, especially with Eastern European countries. During the fifth General Assembly in April 1991 in Geneva (Switzerland), EFPSA grew to 11 member countries, and the first delegation from Eastern Europe was welcomed. This year the idea of permanent working groups (called "task forces") came up to enable more efficient work on projects such as EUROPSYCHO, ERASMUS, etc.
Over the years leading up to the new millennium, more Events in the form of Summer Schools, seminars
and, of course, the Congress were organised under the guidance of EFPSA.
The years 2000 - 2020
Since 2001, EFPSA has been an affiliate member of the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA). Contact with EFPA originally began in July 1991 in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Since then, EFPSA has grown in size and had to implement some significant structural changes, creating a new form of Executive Board. In 2003, the concept of National Representatives (nowadays known as Member Representatives) was introduced. These formed the new decision-making body from each of the associations which were members of EFPSA. Furthermore, the Board as a separate body within the Executive Board was formed due to the need for leadership on strategic decisions, as well as monitoring the efficiency of the whole organisation. For a long time, the Board consisted of seven Board members: President, Vice President, Secretary General, Finance Officer, Marketing Officer, Member Representatives Officer and Events Officer. In the mandate of 2019-2020, the position of Academic Affairs Officer was approved to be another position on the Board. The Academic Affairs Responsible was first only responsible for the Research Programme (RP) and the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) and the Vice President for the remaining three Services (Training Office, Social Impact Initiative and Study & Travel Abroad). This slightly changed in the mandate of 2021-2022 (see below).
In 2006, EFPSA developed its Corporate Visual Identity (CVI) and became recognised with its representative logo and orange colour. Today, the branch which is taking care of EFPSA's image is the Marketing Office, where different teams work to improve the promotion of the organisation. In 2007, the first European Summer School (ESS) with the topic “Cross-Cultural Psychology” took place in Leie (Estonia) – followed by European Summer Schools covering different topics each subsequent year. Since 2011, all ESS participants completing the training programme and committing to the research project have been invited to join the Junior Researcher Programme, extending the European Summer School from a one-week Event into a fully structured 13-month research programme. Over time the ways of communication within the organisation have changed drastically with the internet spreading further. The EFPSA website has been improved several times. In 2005, EFPSA used Sharepoint as an internal communication tool and later moved over to Podio. Also, the possibility to make online calls has influenced communication within EFPSA and made it a lot easier to stay in touch with each other. Google Drive and Gmail became more popular over the years as communication mediums and, in 2019, EFPSA switched to G Suite. Since then, communication and storing of files have become more centralised and continuous.
In 2010, the General Assembly approved a comprehensive revision of the Statutes and Domestic Regulations (now called Internal Regulations) proposed by a Statutes Task Force. The most important changes included the introduction of three kinds of EFPSA members: National, Regional and Local Organisations. Representatives from those organisations were together now referred to as Member Representatives (MRs). Since then, each Board has proposed amendments to the Statutes and Domestic Regulations keeping our most important documents updated at all times.
The online growth (2010 - now)
In these years, EFPSA has grown rapidly. With an EFPSA Working Community of over 100 people, the core goals of EFPSA can be achieved at a faster rate and a bigger scale. This is manifested in the amount of following on EFPSA's social media accounts in 2021.
- Facebook: 28,000+ likes
- Instagram: 4,000+ followers
- LinkedIn: 3700+ followers
- Twitter: 1300+ followers
Besides our online presence, our physical presence has grown at the annual EFPSA Congresses. The EFPSA Congress has been growing in size allowing for more and more students, professionals and academics to connect with each other. At the 24th EFPSA Congress (2010 - The Netherlands) gathered around 200 participants. At the 28th EFPSA Congress (2014 - Czech Republic), EFPSA welcomed around 300 participants. At the 31st EFPSA Congress (2017 - Azerbaijan), EFPSA welcomed 350 participants. At the 35th EFPSA Congress (2021 - the Netherlands), EFPSA welcomed 400 participants to exchange knowledge, cultures, and practices.
Unfortunately, during the world wide pandemic in the spring of 2020, the 34th EFPSA Congress could not take place in Ireland. The General Assemblies were held virtually to maintain a normal transition of the mandate.
Below is a list of where each annual EFPSA Congress has taken place over the last 30 years:
EFPSA Congress History
- 2022 Cyprus