† Renata Blodow 


Marian Watts

† Britta Calminder



† Livia Ricci

Silvia Perry

Ilse Spritzendorfer



Lena Hokfelt
2002 - 2005

Gabriella Canonica
2005 - 2008

Amélie Leclercq
2008 - 2011


Sabine Schmelzer


Sabine Schmelzer


2011 - 2014




Conferences  Europe and International

starting at the beginning of BPW Europe structures 1981

1981 1st European conference Strasbourg, France
1982 2nd European Conference Udine, Italy
1984 3rd European Conference Thessaloniki, Greece
1985 17th International Congress of the IFBPW Auckland
1986 4th European Conference Ostende, Belgium
1987 18th International Congress The Hague, Netherlands
1988 5th European Conference Stockholm, Sweden
1989 19th International Congress of the IFBPW Bahamas
1990 6th European Conference Aachen, Germany
1991 20th International Congress of the IFBPW Kenya, Africa
1992 7th European Conference Southampton, United Kingdom
1993 21st International Congress Nagoya, Japan
1994 8th European Congress Vienna, Austria
1995 1st European Presidents' Meeting Warsaw, Poland
1996 22nd International Congress Venice, Italy
1997 9th European Congress Reykjavik, Iceland
1998 2nd European Presidents' Meeting Galway, Ireland
1999 23th International Congress Vancouver, Canada
2000 10th European Congress Tallinn, Estonia
2001 3rd European Presidents' Meeting* Cyprus,
2002 24th International Congress Melbourne, Australia
2003 11th Euopean Congress Roma, Italy
2004 4th European Regional Meeting** Berlin, Germany
2005 25th International Congress Luzern, Switzerland
2006 12th European Congress Stockholm, Sweden
2007 5th European Closed President's Meeting Valencia, Spain
2008 25th International Congress Mexico
2009 13th European Congress Munich, Germany
2010 6th European Closed President's Meeting Vienna, Austria
2011 26th International Congress Helsinki, Finland
2012 14th European Congress Sorrento, Italy


* In Cyprus the Presidents decided to change the Name "European Presidents'Meeting" to European Regional Meeting.

** In Berlin the Presidents decided to rename the Meeting as it was before to European President's Meeting.


Conferences - History (later > European Congress)


1st European conference

Michelle Laublé, then President of the Strasbourg club, invited all European BPW National Presidents and interested members to the 1st European conference that took place September 25-27, 1981. The purpose of the meeting was to create a firm structure for contacts among the European Federations of BPW and to provide the Strasbourg representative with information on the needs and views of the Federations. This idea was supported by Rosmarie Michel, International President. The conference elected an Ad Hoc Committee whose role was to work out proposals and prepare the second European Conference: Renata Blodow (Germany), Hildegard Fuegg (Switzerland) and Yvonne Pencoat (France). To provide administrative support, a Contact Center was set up in Karlsruhe, Germany, staffed by two volunteers, Traude Westermann and Hede Steilberger.

2nd European Conference

The 2nd European Conference held at Udine, Italy on September 11, 1982 adopted the Organization Plan, Rules and Budget proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee as well as reports prepared by the Committee on "Part Time Work and Retraining", "Women in Rural Areas" and "Unpaid Work by Women in Family Enterprises". A European Coordinating Committee was elected with Renata Blodow as chairperson, and Anneli Reinikka (Finland) and Marian Watts (France) as members. The ECC made first contacts with the Women's Information Service of the European Commission in Brussels, and with the Committee on Women's Rights of the European Parliament. It also prepared reports on "NGOs, International Organizations and Democratic Institutions", "The Second Generation of Migrant Workers" and "Data Protection". Marcelle Devaud was elected member and later Vice President of the Liaison Committee of NGOs accredited to the Council of Europe.


3rd European Conference

The 3rd European Conference took place in Thessaloniki, Greece on October 18-20, 1984 under the general theme "Women Between Two Worlds - Home and Professional Work". A new Coordinating Committee was elected : Marian Watts (France), chairperson, Sirkka Lehto (Finland) and Dr. Livia Ricci (Italy).

17. International Congress of the IFBPW

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

4th European Conference

The 4th European Conference in Ostende, Belgium (September 4 - 6, 1986) revised the Organization Plan to conform with the regionalization of the International Federation, and adopted reports written by the EC on "Living Conditions in Rural Areas" and "The Black Labor Market". The new ECC was composed of Dr. Livia Ricci (Italy) as chair and Britta Calminder (Sweden) and Andrée Willemsen (Belgium) as members.

18th International Congress

The 18th International Congress of the IFBPW elected Dr. Livia Ricci Regional Coordinator for Europe at The Hague, Netherlands, in August, 1987. Marcelle Devaud's term of office as Vice President of the NGO Liaison Committee in Strasbourg ended. Michelle Laublé resigned as alternate Representative at the Council of Europe and was replaced by Adèle Tolon (France).

5th European Conference

"Why not a Woman?" was the general theme of the 5th European Conference in Stockholm, Sweden (June 2 - 4, 1988). Britta Calminder was elected chairperson of the ECC, Karin Steinberg (Germany) and Judy Webb (United Kingdom) members.

19th International Congress of the IFBPW

The 19th International Congress of the IFBPW at the Bahamas elected Britta Calminder Regional Coordinator for Europe in October, 1989.

In September, 1990 the European Women's Lobby was founded in Brussels. Renata Blodow was appointed delegate of the European Federations of BPW to the EWL.

6th European Conference (Congress)

The 6th European Conference in Aachen, Germany took place from October 4 - 6, 1990 with the general theme

"Qualifying for Tomorrow", an apt title for the week in which the re unification of Germany occurred.

The new chairperson of the ECC was Mette Sundby-Brandt (Denmark), with Vera Frangipane (Italy) and Judy Webb (United Kingdom) as members. A European Friendship Fund was established so that delegates from the countries in transition and newest affiliates could be sponsored to attend.

20th International Congress

Mette Sundby-Brandt was appointed Regional Coordinator for Europe at the 20th International Congress of the IFBPW in Kenia in November, 1991. During her term of office, the Karlsruhe Contact Center was dissolved.

7th European Conference (Congress)

The 7th European Conference in Southampton, United Kingdom, with the theme " A New Beginning ", was held from May 28 - 30, 1992. Sylvia Perry (United Kingdom) was elected chairperson of the ECC, and Vera Frangipane (Italy), Dr. Verena Hofstätter (Austria) and Thordis Gudmundsdottir members. Dr. Hofstätter resigned soon afterwards. Renata Blodow successfully campaigned for a second place for representation at the EWL which was filled by the chairperson of the ECC.

21st International Congress

At the 21st International Congress of BPW in Nagoya (June 5 - 10, 1993) Sylvia Perry was elected Regional Coordinator for Europe.

8th European Conference (Congress)

The 8th European Conference took place in Vienna, Austria November 3 - 6, 1994 with the theme of " Women' s Worlds - Women in the Social and Economic Context". The Organization Plan and Rules were revised to accommodate the changes within the International Federation and it was agreed that Presidents' meetings and networking meetings would be held in the intervening years, when neither an International or European congress was being held . Mag. Ilse Spritzendorfer (Austria) and Marja Ihto (Finland) were elected members, and Thordis Gudmundsdottir (Iceland) Finance Officer of the ECC.

In May, 1996 Renata Blodow (Germany) resigned from her position as Board Member of the European Women's Lobby and was replaced by Margita Aberg-Palosvirta (Sweden).

22nd International Congress

Mag. Ilse Spritzendorfer was elected Regional Coordinator at the 22nd International Congress of BPW in Venice in July, 1996.

9th European Congress

At the 9th European Conference held in Reykjavik, Iceland August 21-23, 1997, Janice Bancroft (United Kingdom) and Sirje Küttis (Estonia) became members of the ECC, while Marja Ihto was elected Finance Officer. The overall theme was "Towards 2000 Women Creating a Better World" and at this congress the "European Bill of Rights for the Girl Child" was adopted.

23nd International Congress

Mag. Ilse Spritzendorfer was re-elected Regional Coordinator for Europe at the 23rd International Congress in Vancouver, September 19-25, 1999 and for the first time, as a result of the constitutional changes, the Regional Coordinator is now represented on the BPW International Executive Board.

10th European Congress

2000 is the year of the 10th European Congress held in Tallinn, Estonia from 6 - 8 June to the theme "New Millenium - New Challenges, Women as Leaders and Decision-makers".

Tallinn, June 2000 Renata Blodow

10th European Congress 2000 Tallinn, Estonia

New elected Members in the ECC, Gabriella Canonica, Switzerland and Klaar Meekhof, NL.

Cyprus, 2001. European Presidents'Meeting. After the Meeting the Presidents elected via Internet the new Finance Officier Dagmar Bischof, Germany.
Klaar Meekhof resigned from her Duty.

24nd International Congress

At the 24nd International Congress 2002 in Melbourne, Austrialia, Lena Hokfelt was elected Regional Cooordinator for Europe

11th European Congress

The 11th European Congress took place in 2003 in Rome, Italy. Dagmar Bischof, Germany was re-elected as Finance officer, Gabriella Canonica re-elected as ECC Member, and as new Member Faye Northan, UK, representative for Young BPW Europe.

Berlin, Germany , 2004. 4th European Presidents'Meeting. The Presidents decided to rename the Regioan Conference into Closed President's Meeting. Gabriella Canonica was pre-elected to be the new Regional Coordinator 2005 - 2008

25th International Congress,
Jubilee Congress 2005

this important event took place in Switzerland, Luzern. New elected Coordinator for Europe during International Congress is Gabriella Canonica, Switzerland.

12th European Congress 2006
This congress took place in Stockholm, Sweden. For the first time panels were organized, where unusual themes where discussed, like "Women as Inventors" "Women as Community Builders" and "Women and the labor market". A multicolored palette of inputs from many points of view was offered. The International Theme "New Dimensions of Leadership" had an own Panel and Workshop.
New elected ECC Board Members:
Amélie Leclercq, BPW France.Member and Liaison to the Young BPW Europe
Enrichetta Bellini, BPW Italy. New Finance Officer starting January 2007
Kate Bekasiak, BPW Poland. New Member.

5th Closed Presidents'Meeting. Valencia 2007.
This meeting was under the topic of new elections for the ECC, Kate Bekasiak had to resign due to family reasons. The new elected Member in the ECC is Annegret Hastedt, BPW Germany.
Amélie Leclercq was pre-elected to be the next Regional Coordinator 2008 - 2011

26th International Congress, Mexico 2008

13th European Congress, Munich 2009

27th International Congress, Helsinki 2011
14th European Congress, Sorrento 2013

28th International Congress, Jeju 2014
15th European Congress, Zürich 2016
29th International Congress, Cairo 2017

16th European Congress, Galway 2019