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ECREA has been founded at the first European Communication Conference (ECC) in Amsterdam on 25 November 2005, as a merger of two European associations of communication researchers: the European Communication Association (ECA) and the European Consortium for Communications Research (ECCR).

ECREA's first Executive Board, which served from 2005 to 2008 consisted of François Heinderyckx (president), Pertti Hurme (vice-president), Annaleena Ylinen (general secretary), Nico Carpentier (treasurer), Andrea Pitasi, Annette Hill, John Rosenbaum, Lars Nyre, Nishan Havandjian, and Uwe Hasebrink.

In November 2008, the Executive Board for the period 2008-2012 was elected in Barcelona, Spain. The Board members were François Heinderyckx (president), Nico Carpentier (vice-president and treasurer), Tamara Witschge (general secretary), Bertrand Cabedoche, Divina Frau-Meigs, Maren Hartmann, Uwe Hasebrink, Pertti Hurme, Salvatore Scifo, and Sinikka Torkkola. During the mandate, Bertrand Cabedoche left the board and Alenka Jelen, Aukse Balcytiene, Thorsten Quandt and Katharine Sarikakis joined the Executive Board.

In October 2012, the Executive Board members for the 2012-2016 period were elected in Istanbul, Turkey. The Board members were Claudia Alvares (president), Ilija Tomanić Trivundža (vice-president), Alenka Jelen (general secretary), Katrin Voltmer (treasurer), Olga Bailey, Fausto Colombo, Epp Lauk, Lars Nord, Barbara Pfetsch, Katharine Sarikakis, Salvatore Scifo, and Miguel Vicente-Mariño. Since the start of the turn, Salvatore Scifo, Katharine Sarikakis and Guy Starkey left the board while Anne Kaun, Thorsten Quandt and Vaclav Štetka joined the Executive Board.

In November 2016, the Executive Board members for the period 2016-2020 were elected in Prague, Czech Republic. The Board members elected were Ilija Tomanić Trivundža (president), John Downey (vice-president), Irena Reifová (general secretary), Pawel Surowiec (treasurer), Ali Murat Akser, Christina Holtz-Bacha, Galina Miazhevich, and Miguel Vicente-Mariño. They were joined by Tereza Pavlíčková, Göran Bölin and Michale Harnischmacher as representatives of Networks, Sections and Temporary Working Groups.



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