During the XVth International Congress of Administrative Sciences held at Rome in 1971, and more specifically on the occasion of regional meetings organised for representatives of training and research institutions of public administration, the need for strengthening contacts and exchanges among European scholars and practitioners was recognised. 

In early 1972, a survey was launched, welcomed enthusiastically and led to the setting up of the European Group for Public Administration in 1974 as a Working Group of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (see note on IIAS). EGPA held it constituent meeting at Speyer on the occasion of the Hochchule für Verwaltungswissenschaften Autumn Days in September 1974 and was officially established in 1975. EGPA is now a Regional Group of IIAS.

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