The history of EAPA 1973-2023
The main reasons, which moved EAPA founders to create an association, came from the need of establishing a platform for the intensive exchange of information between the member countries, developing collaboration structures with various road authorities and achieving European opinions based on technical, social, welfare and environmental aspects.
Nowadays, these principles remain, but the EAPA mission goes beyond. EAPA is currently the voice of the Asphalt Paving Industry in Europe and works to ensure that the use of asphalt, as the optimum choice for the construction and maintenance of the vital European road infrastructure, is fully appreciated, promoted, and implemented.
With the involvement of 16 National Associations and more than 25 Associate Members, EAPA continues working to create an innovative and modern asphalt industry that cares for health and safety as well as for the protection of the environment and sustainability.
Throughout its history, EAPA became more present in Standardisation Committees, established strong alliances with global partners beyond Europe (e.g. as a member of the Global Asphalt Pavement Alliance), and became the contact point for the rest of the stakeholders, from Road Administrations (CEDR) and European Commission to academics and researchers (RILEM), transportation and construction professionals (FIEC, ERTRAC, ECCREDI, ACEA…) and associations of raw materials suppliers (Eurobitume, UEPG).
Also, the growing technical work has been progressively structured into a more and more complex system of Committees and Task Forces, beyond the traditional Technical Committee and Committee on Health, Safety and Environment. The change in times is well reflected in the incorporation of the newest Committee on Asphalt 4.0 or the ongoing Task Forces on Decarbonisation and Life Cycle Assessment.
Over these 50 years, the exhaustive work undertaken by all the people behind these Committees led to the publication of several dozens of position papers, technical reviews, technical briefings, discussion documents and manifestos, addressing different audiences, such as road administrations, industrials, academics and the general public. The topics changed, from the first ones on purely mechanical topics to the latest on the circular economy asphalt, the use of secondary materials from other sectors into asphalt or the readiness of asphalt roads to adopt connected, automated and electric vehicles. The channels also changed, from the original publications printed in paper and posted by conventional mail, to the downloadable documents on the EAPA website or the brand new EAPA YouTube channel and social media.
Times have even changed the way we meet, thanks to new technologies. Since the first Eurasphalt Congress, held in 1976 in Montreux, and after more than 20 Eurasphalt Congresses, Symposiums, E&E Congresses and Events, in 2021 an unprecedented milestone was achieved with the celebration of the first E&E Congress purely virtual. With almost 1000 participants, this Congress allowed stakeholders to continue exchanging even during the worst pandemic of the last century. The programme of the Congress 2021, with sessions on topics like “communication” or with space for the Future Leaders of our industry to present how to make our sector more attractive for young generations, had more to provide than that held in Montreux almost 50 years ago. However, the idea of sharing experiences, discussing new challenges and proposing solutions to improve our industry, remains intact.
For 50 years, the voice of the asphalt industry, through the speakers of EAPA, has never stopped reaching more and more stakeholders of the sector, from the European continent and beyond.
Celebrating 50 years of EAPA
In March 2023, EAPA Celebrated its 50th anniversary in Madrid.
The event was a huge success, with attendees from all corners of Europe coming together to honour the organization’s incredible achievements in the past 50 years.
Former representatives of EAPA also spoke at the event, sharing their experiences and memories of working with the organization over the years.