Brussels Europe

How BPW Europe developed

In the course of the 1960s and 1970s, several relatively informal international meetings were held for German-speaking and some for francophone BPW. There seemed to be a general desire for contacts and cooperation across national borders.

In 1977, the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW) was accredited to the Council of Europe and received consultative status along with some 200 NGOs. Marcelle Devaud was nominated Permanent Representative and Michelle Laublé(both of France) her alternate.

Michelle Laubé, then President of the Strasbourg Club, invited all European BPW Presidents and interested members to the 1st European Conference which took place in September 1981.

In October 1985, the 17th International Congress of BPW International in Auckland, New Zealand, voted to set up five regions, headed by Regional Coordinators. Marian Waats was elected to this position for Europe.

In September 1990, through the hard work of women such as Marcelle Devaud and Emilienne Brunfaut, the European Women’s Lobby was founded in Brussels. BPW Europe is a member of the European Women’s Lobby and Renata Blodow was the first delegate of the European Federations of BPW International to the EWL.

The presidents of the European Federations of BPW International decided to created the European Coordinating Committee to support the work of the Regional Coordinator.

In January 2009, the presidents of the European Federations of BPW International created a legal structure to run common projects at European level : BPW European Coordination aisbl (association internationale sans but lucratif – international non profit organisation).

The executive Board of BPW Europe is made of the European Regional Coordinator and members of the ECC.