In 1986, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) was established in Maastricht by the Dutch government, with representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. 

Setting up such an institute showed foresight. It recognised that development is only possible if partner countries have well-functioning policies capable of creating the conditions necessary for all layers of society to contribute. Autonomous development is, first and foremost, development for and by the people.

ECDPM's mission and vision have evolved over the past 30 years, and our focus has shifted from ACP-EU relations to Africa-Europe relations. Our number of institutional funders and partners has grown over the years, and we have expanded the range of topics we cover. Yet, our commitment to making policies work for inclusive and sustainable development both in Africa and in Europe remains unchanged. 


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The history of ECDPM and our head office

Since ECDPM was created, our head office has been in the ‘Pelican House’ – a Dutch national monument and the only Art Nouveau building in Maastricht. On the occasion of ECDPM's 25th anniversary, in 2011, Geert Laporte and Jac van den Boogard explored the history of ECDPM and the Pelican House. 


Browse the timeline below to see highlights of ECDPM's 30-year existence.