The ENPG was founded in 1995 as a forum for the national policy and funding authorities for research networking in Europe. It arose originally from the EuroCAIRN project and received initial funding from the EUREKA project of the European Union. It is now independent and self-financing.
Membership of ENPG is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is signed on behalf of each member country, normally by a senior representative of the relevant government ministry. In its first MOU period, 1995-2001, ENPG developed into a significant contributor to research networking in Europe. At the start of this period there was a lack of a formal policy and funding framework for the pan-European layer of the research network. ENPG was instrumental in formulating the basis whereby joint EU and national funding could be applied to this purpose, eventually leading to the launch of the GEANT project.
ENPG has now entered its second MOU period, 2001-2007. It continues to play an important role in addressing policy and funding issues in pursuit of strong European research networks. It is also concerned with a number of emerging issues relating to access, security and new technologies.
ENPG meets three times a year and works very closely with the European Commission, DANTE and TERENA over such matters as GEANT, research networks in the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme, and inter-continental connectivity. ENPG has regular contacts with Internet2 and the National Science Foundation in the United States. ENPG has contributed to a number of recent projects and events, including the SERENATE studies and the Global IPv6 launch. Reports from the most recent ENPG meetings can be found on the web site.
All European countries are invited to join ENPG and take part in the co-ordination of national policies both inside and outside of the European Union. Countries which have joined ENPG are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
ENPG appointed Dr John Martin, Information Services, Cardiff University, UK, as half-time secretary in 2001. Contact details are on the web site.