In 1989, the EU BCR (Bureau communautaire de référence) organized a first meeting between EQAS organizers involved in biochemistry and hormonology. Later on also meetings were organized between EQAS organizers in haematology and also one meeting for microbiology EQAS organizers. With exception of the first group there were no long-term outcome effects from these meetings. The biochemistry and hormology group started already in January 1990 with EQAnews and with informal meetings at the occasion of international and national congresses.
The informal collaboration between European EQAS organizers was formalized in 1996 in Pont à Mousson (France) having the inaugural meeting with the foundation of EQALM (European committee for External Quality Assessment Programmes Laboratory Medicine). This is an umbrella organisation for European EQA organizers. EQAnews is now the house journal of EQALM.