EAU History

The origins of the European Association of Urology stretch back to the early 1970s. In nearly fifty years, the EAU has grown enormously in both membership and scope.


Prof. Giorgio Ravasini, holder of the chair of Urology at the University of Padua, gathered 10 well-known European urologists to discuss the formation of a European urology society.


During the congress of the Société Internationale d’Urologie (SIU) held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the final constituent assembly took place. The EAU was born and welcomed 259 proposed members. As a neutral country, Switzerland was chosen as the permanent home of the EAU headquarters and Prof. Willy Gregoir was elected the first Secretary General.


The first EAU Congress, chaired by Prof. Ravasini, was held in September 1974 in Padua, Italy. At this congress Prof. G. Mayor officially announced the constitution of European Urology as the official scientific journal of the EAU.
Photo: Willy Gregoir, one of the founding fathers and the 1st secretary General of the EAU


The first edition of the Association’s journal was a fact. European Urology, later also knows as the Platinum Journal, was heading towards a leading role in urological science.


The decision was taken to open the EAU to all European urologists who wished to become members. In a time where the cold war was still very active, EAU facilitated a platform where Western and Eastern European urologists could gather and exchange ideas.


During the 6th EAU Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was agreed to use English as the sole official language at future congresses. Prof. A. Steg (FR) was elected Secretary General and succeeded Prof. Gregoir.


The 1st EAU Willy Gregoir Award was handed out to H. Hopkins. The medal’s design was based on a profile sketch made by Prof. John Blandy.


The 9th EAU Congress in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, chaired by Prof. Frans Debruyne was a pivotal congress and marked the new direction for the coming years. More than 1500 papers were received of high scientific quality. The congress attracted an unusually large number of urologists from Central and Eastern Europe and also from the US, Japan, Australia, South-Africa and various Asian countries. At the Amsterdam congress the EAU truly became an “open” association.


At the 10th EAU Congress in Genoa, Italy, chaired by Prof. Giuliani, Prof. Debruyne (NL) succeeded Prof. Steg as Secretary General.

The first EBU exam was conducted.


At the General Assembly during the 12th congress in Paris, France, the new structure of the EAU with various new committees for all the new activities were approved. From that moment on, the EAU grew at a tremendous rate in terms of membership, congress participants as well as activities.

  • The 1st Crystal Matula Award was granted to Prof. F. Hamdy, Sheffield (GB)
  • The first time ESU Courses were organised by the European School of Urology
  • Chair of the Scientific Committee: Prof. Laurent Boccon-Gibod


From the 13th EAU Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the EAU becomes an annual event. The EAU Central Office takes on the task as the main and sole organiser of the Annual EAU Congress.


The EAU Central Office moved to a new building in Arnhem, The Netherlands, where it is still located.


One of our current core activities, the EAU Guidelines, were launched in this year. The aim of the EAU guidelines is to assist practising clinicians in making informed decisions in a given circumstance; taking the highest quality scientific data, their patient’s personal circumstances, values and preferences into account. Since its introduction in 2000 the EAU Guidelines are used all across the world. They are comprehensively updated on an annual basis and freely accessible for all members.


Congress President Vela Navarrete mentioned during the EAU Congress News that the 2003 congress in Madrid would be remembered as a milestone in the history of European urology. “The expansion of the European Union to 25 countries means we are the largest urological community in the world. The EAU had made its way in a very short time to being the benchmark of European urology”, said Vela Navarette.


After 12 years, Prof. Frans Debruyne resigns and Prof. Pierre Teillac is the new Secretary General of the EAU. Prof. Freddie Hamdy becomes Chair of the Scientific Committee.


Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson (SE) was elected as the new Secretary General of the EAU and succeeds Pierre Teillac.


Prof. Abrahamsson hands out the EAU Frans Debruyne Lifetime Achievement Award to Prof. R. Ackermann, Düsseldorf (DE).


The EAU has grown into a well-established scientific organisation with numerous scientific activities. The Annual EAU Congress is attended by more than 12,000 delegates and membership has grown from the initial 259 in 1973 to more than 14,000 in 2010!

It’s the 25th Anniversary Congress. The EAU’s International Day featured joint meetings with nine regional urological associations, by far the biggest participation yet from international societies based in Asia, the Americas and the African-Middle East regions.


The new Innovators in Urology Award was handed out to Prof. C.G. Chaussy, Strasslach (DE).


Almost 15,000 visitors followed the congress online. Delegates spent a lot of time online through their mobile devices and actively used the applications developed for the congress. These insights help the EAU to reduce costs, be more environmentally friendly and more oriented towards digital technology.


Congress president Francesco Montorsi, from Milan, Italy, who also stepped down as Editor in Chief of European Urology at the end of 2013. He is succeeded by James Catto. The New EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award was handed out to L. Ahmad from Glasgow.


Chris Chapple (GB) succeeds Per-Anders Abrahamsson as Secretary-General. Walter Artibani (IT) steps down as member of the EAU Executive board responsible for Science.


Prof. Marberger received a standing ovation when he was awarded Honorary Member of he EAU Congress.


Per-Anders Abrahamsson (SE) received the Frans Debruyne Lifetime Achievement Award.


Didier Jacqmin (FR) was awarded the EAU Frans Debruyne Lifetime Achievement Award.


Live surgery is a special part of the EAU’s Annual Congress. At EAU19 the live surgery programme was live broadcasted from the Fundacio Puigvert in Barcelona, performed by surgeons from all over Europe. Sixteen different procedures were performed and lasted more than eight hours, divided into four parts.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Annual EAU Congress, which was supposed to take place in Amsterdam, had to be canceled last minute. For the first time ever the EAU Congress had to take place fully virtual.


While the EAU could not return to an in-person Annual Congress in 2021, top speakers were able to gather in a recording studio to broadcast session highlights and expert discussions for EAU21. Delegates tuned in from home for a final virtual congress.


In addition to returning to an in-person Annual Congress in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the EAU also established two vital offices: the Patient Office and the Policy Office. Both offices were created to contribute vital advocacy for patients and to bring urology to the forefront of policy development in Europe. At EAU22 in Amsterdam the 50th Anniversary Jubilee kicked off, celebrating 50 years since the EAU was founded.


The EAU welcomes a new Secretary General, Prof. Arnulf Stenzl. Prof. Stenzl comes into the position during the culmination of the 50th Anniversary Jubilee of the EAU. European Urology, the official journal of the EAU, also welcomes a new Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Alberto Briganti, who in June replaces Prof. James Catto, who served as Editor-in-Chief for 10 years.