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A brief history of the ESC

The European Society of Cardiology officially came into existence in 1950

A look back on the history of the ESC


The European Society of Cardiology

In 1946 and 1948, during the Second and Third Inter-American Congresses of Cardiology held in Mexico and Chicago, several European Cardiologists discussed the possible creation of a European Society of Cardiology.

On 29 January 1949, a preliminary meeting was held in Brussels with representatives from 14 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia. A provisional Executive Committee was appointed that included C. Laubry (France) as Honorary President, G. Nylin (Sweden) as President, and D.E. Belford (UK), E. Coehlo (Portugal) and J. Lenegre (France) as Vice-Presidents.

The first Board prepared a draft constitution and, on 2 September 1950, prior to the First World Congress of Cardiology in Paris, the European Society of Cardiology officially came into existence.

The first European Congress of Cardiology was held in London in September 1952 under the Presidency of Sir John Parkinson. Subsequently, European Congresses were held every four years until 1988. After, the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to hold the Congress annually, starting with the Vienna meeting in 1988.

The European Heart House

The foundation stone of the European Heart House was laid on the 27 November 1992 by the President of the ESC, Professor Michel E. Bertrand, FESC (Lille, France), who also inaugurated the Heart House on the 31 August 1993, during the XV Congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Nice. 300 people, including the representatives of National Societies and Working Groups and 100 local dignitaries, attended the ceremony. The 1993 elected Fellows of the ESC had the unique opportunity to receive their F.E.S.C. Diploma within the context of the inauguration of the European Heart House.

The European Heart House represents a milestone in the long-standing commitment of the European Society of Cardiology to foster the development of cardiology and to further education in the field of cardiovascular disease. It actually meets the Society's need for headquarters and for an Educational and Training Centre.

The surroundings of the European Heart House are not only pleasant. Sophia Antipolis (South of France) is in an area that has a unique concentration of technological, research and development related activities, including the fields of computer science, electronics, telecommunications, health and pharmaceutical research.

Since the provisional Executive Committee of the ESC eighteen eminent cardiologists have been Presidents of the European Society of Cardiology.

Presidents of the European Society of Cardiology

President Country of Origin  Date
Gustav Nylin Sweden 1950-1956
Evan Bedford United Kingdom 1956-1960
Jean Lenègre France 1960-1964
Luigi Condorelli Italy 1964-1968
Pavel Lukl Czechoslovakia 1968-1972
Herman Snellen The Netherlands 1972-1976
Henri Denolin Belgium 1976-1980
Franz Loogen, EFESC Germany 1980-1984
Paul Hugenholtz, EFESC The Netherlands 1984-1988
Hans-Peter Krayenbühl Switzerland 1988-1990
Attilio Reale Italy 1990-1991
Michel Bertrand, FESC  France 1991-1994
Philip Poole-Wilson United Kingdom 1994-1996
Gunter Breithardt, FESC  Germany 1996-1998
Lars Rydén, FESC  Sweden 1998-2000
Maarten Simoons, FESC  The Netherlands 2000-2002
Jean-Pierre Bassand, FESC France 2002-2004
Michal Tendera, FESC Poland 2004-2006
Kim Fox, FESC United Kingdom 2006-2008
Roberto Ferrari, FESC Italy 2008-2010
Michel Komajda, FESC France 2010-2012
Panos Vardas, FESC Greece 2012-2014
Fausto Pinto, FESC Portugal 2014-2016
Jeroen Bax, FESC Netherlands 2016-2018
Barbara Casadei, FESC United Kingdom 2018-2020
Stephan Achenbach Germany 2020-2022
Franz Weidinger Austria 2022-2024