In 1932, the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) created a special committee to explore the possibility of organising a European Championships in Athletics.
The following year, the IAAF Council appointed a permanent European Committee.
The Committee met for the first time in Budapest on 7 January 1934 and the first European Athletics Championships were staged later that year in Torino.
The Committee was subsequently elected every four years by the whole membership of the IAAF and then, from 1966, exclusively by the IAAF's European Member Federations.
Its work included expanding the European competition programme by adding the European Cup (first staged in 1965) and then the European Indoor Games (first staged in 1966), which later became the European Indoor Championships.
On 1 November 1969 at a meeting of the Committee in Bucharest, the Association of the European Members of the IAAF was formed.
Its Constitutional Rules were confirmed at the next year's IAAF Congress.
These Rules came into force at the first European Athletic Association Congress in Paris on 7 November 1970, after which the organisation was known as the European Athletic Association (EAA).
The EAA's role now includes the further development of the European competition programme and a number of other tasks in the service of its Member Federations.
The EAA was legally re-constituted in Switzerland in 2003 and the Headquarters were moved to Lausanne, effective 1 January 2004.
A new Constitution, reflecting various changes to the organisational structure and working practices of the EAA, was adopted by an Extraordinary European Athletic Association Congress on 15 October 2005.