The European Academy of Neurology (EAN) is a vigorous organization of great importance for all neurologists and for our patients. But how did neurology get organized at the European level? That is the topic of this article METHODS: Most important sources are memories and documents of the author, who was a moving force in developing the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS), one of the two parents of the EAN RESULTS: All European national neurological societies and the World Federation of Neurology were involved in a difficult political interaction resulting in the EFNS. Organizational and administrative development was the initial task. Scientific panels led by a scientific committee, teaching courses for young neurologists, teaching courses in middle- and eastern Europe and successful congresses were developed. Purchase of a head quarter as well as the creation of a fully owned scientific journal (European Journal of Neurology) were important and financially beneficial. The EFNS also promoted the formation of the European Brain Council (EBC) and of the patient organization European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA). All these elements have continued after fusion with the European Neurological Society to form the EAN.