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EFCO&HPA was formed in 1978 when representatives of the national associations in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom decided to create a platform for the exchange of expertise and best practice.

As the Common Market evolved into the European Community and then into the European Union, EFCO&HPA's work focused increasingly on lobbying the European institutions. 

All country members have a vote in the General Assembly and day-to-day business is managed by a troika of the President, Vice President and Past President. Elections to the Presidency take place every two years. It is usually the Vice President who takes over as the new President, while the outgoing President is formally designated EFCO&HPA's Past President. This system ensures greater continuity with each elected representative serving in the troika for up to 6 years.

In addition to this troika, EFCO&HPA has a management committee, whose membership consists of the President, the Vice President, the Past President, the Treasurer, the Secretary General, three further members and two accounts controllers. The committee considers the agenda items for the General Assembly, agreeing recommendations for discussion and approval by the Assembly. Final decision rests with the General Assembly.

EFCO&HPA membership is made up of the National Trade Associations of the following countries:
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