ECREA is an international non-profit association with the following aims:
To provide a forum where researchers and others involved in communication and information research can meet and exchange information and documentation about their work. Its disciplinary focus will include media, (tele)communications and informatics research, including relevant approaches of human and social sciences;
To encourage the development of research and systematic study, especially on subjects and areas where such work is not well developed;
To stimulate academic and intellectual interest in media and communication research, and to promote communication and cooperation between members of the Association;
To co-ordinate the circulation of information on communications research in Europe, with a view to establishing a database of ongoing research;
To encourage, support, and where possible, publish, the work of young researchers in Europe;
To take into account the desirability of different languages and cultures in Europe;
To develop links with relevant national and international communication organisations and with professional communication researchers working for commercial organisations and regulatory institutions, both public and private;
To promote the interests of communication research within and among the Member States of the Council of Europe and the European Union;
To collect and disseminate information concerning the professional position of communication researchers in the European region; and
To develop, improve and promote communication and media education.
ECREA has been founded at the first European Communication Conference (ECC) in Amsterdam on 25 November 2005, as a merger of two European associations of communication researchers: the European Communication Association (ECA) and the European Consortium for Communications Research (ECCR).
The merging task force that arranged and formulated the conditions of the merging process consisted of members of both organisations. The ECCR was represented by François Heinderyckx and Nico Carpentier, while for the ECA Pertti Hurme and John Rosenbaum were the delegates to the task force. The Memorandum of Intent for the merger of ECCR and ECA into ECREA (as formulated by the task force) was approved by the extraordinary general assemblies of the ECCR and the ECA, both held at the first European Communication Conference in Amsterdam on November 24th, 2005.
According to the Memorandum of Intent of the merger, the Executive Board of ECREA was composed out of the members of both former Executive Boards. Accordingly the first officers of ECREA were François Heinderyckx as president, Pertti Hurme as vice-president, Annaleena Ylinen as General Secretary and Nico Carpentier as treasurer.
ECREA, as the organisation resulting from this merger was created using the ECCR as a legal entity, thus the ECCR ceased to exist as such. This was done in order to limit the amount of administrative and legal procedures necessary. The ECA continued to exist for a limited period but was set to not deploy any activity, except for those activities that were required to maintain its existence during this transitional period.
This transitional period was set for the duration of one year, starting with the moment the statutes of the newly founded ECREA were made official by publication in the Moniteur Belge. Given the long duration of the publication process it was later specified in June 2006 that the initial date of the transitional period was considered the day of the extraordinary general assembly of November 24th 2005. After the transitional period both general assemblies of ECA and of ECREA decided that the merger would be made permanent.
In a virtual extraordinary general assembly of ECREA, held from 13th and 22nd December 2006, the vote on the consolidation of the merger of ECCR and ECA and the enduring admission of ECA members as ECREA members was approved unanimously.
On 28 November 2008 the Executive Board members for the 2008-2012 period were elected in Barcelona, Spain. The elected Board members were François Heinderyckx (president); Nico Carpentier (vice-president and treasurer); Tamara Witschge (general secretary); Bertrand Cabedoche (board member); Divina Frau-Meigs (board member); Maren Hartmann (board member); Uwe Hasebrink (board member); Pertti Hurme (board member); Salvatore Scifo (board member); Sinikka Torkkola (board member). Since then Bertrand Cabedoche left the board and Alenka Jelen (Secretary of the Board), Aukse Balcytiene (board member), Thorsten Quandt (board member) and Katharine Sarikakis (board member), became new members.
On 27 October 2012 the Executive Board members for the 2012-2016 period were elected in Istanbul, Turkey. The elected Board members were Claudia Alvares (President), Ilija Tomanić-Trivundža (Vice-President), Alenka Jelen (General Secretary), Katrin Voltmer (Treasurer), Olga Bailey (Board Member), Fausto Colombo (Board Member), Epp Lauk (Board Member), Lars Nord (Board Member), Barbara Pfetsch (Board Member), Katharine Sarikakis (Board Member), Salvatore Scifo (Board Member) and Miguel Vicente-Mariño (Board Member). Since then Salvatore Scifo left the board and Anne Kaun (Board Member), Thorsten Quandt (Board Member) and Guy Starkey (Board Member), became new members.
On November 12 2016 new Executive Board members for the period 2016-2020 were elected in Prague, Czech Republic. The elected Board members were Ilija Tomanić Trivundža (President), John Downey (Vice-President), Irena Reifová (General Secretary), Pawel Surowiec (Treasurer), Ali Murat Akser, Christina Holtz-Bacha, Galina Miazhevich, and Miguel Vicente-Mariño.