UWPIAA was founded in 1987. The BOG of UWPIAA consists of alumni representing different eras, regions and interests. The Regional Representatives on the BOG are to bring international involvement and influence to UWPIAA. The EMEA Regional Representative, Euro-Rep, represent all European, African and Middle-Eastern alumni on the BOG (the last two regions since 2003 only).
The idea of an annual European Alumni Meeting was discussed among Europeans at the UWP Reunion of 1990 in Denver, CO. Bruno Ruchti, E86 (the founding president of the Swiss Alumni Association and one of the first serving Euro-Reps) initiated the first European meeting together with alumni from the Swiss alumni association, former Staff of UWP Europe, UWP & Sing Out Alumni from Germany and some Alumni from the Netherlands and Belgium. The goal was to start a network among the alumni associations within Europe, promote the idea and goals of the UWPIAA and keep in touch with the further development of UWP.
The ELM (European Leadership Meeting) was in the beginning intended to be a meeting primarily for the leaders of the different European Alumni clubs. The name was changed to EAM, European Alumni Meeting to attract all alumni and state that even alumni from non-registered clubs are welcome to attend the meetings. There are no bylaws for how to run ELM/EAMs since we do not have a European board or a European Committee. The minutes from former meetings serve as our “bylaws” or guidelines.
An EMEA Representative representing the Europe, Middle East and African alumni of Up with People was a fixed member of the board of the Up with People International Alumni Association UWPIAA from the beginning of the UWPIAA until 2021 when the board structure of the UWPIAA was restructured. The cost for the EMEA Representative was financed partly by the UWPIAA, partly by European alumni clubs and partly from a fee charged to participants at the EAM meetings as well as private contributions by the serving EMEA Representative.
Since 2021 there has not been a dedicated European representative on the board of the UWPIAA, as regional representatives were cancelled as a new board structure was formed. A new European leadership structure is currently being discussed and will be discussed further at the EAM. A suggestion to the new structure should be presented at the EAM in Bergen.
The EAM meetings are today considered as one of the many events that are either organized by or supported by the UWPIAA. The planning of and execution of the EAM meetings are though fully in the hands of European alumni volunteering to organize the event.