The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education was established in 1996 as an initiative of the Danish Government, endorsed by the member states’ Education Ministers.
The establishment of the Agency took place at the end of the European Commission’s Helios II programme and reflected the need for a permanent and systematic structure for European collaboration in the field of special needs and inclusive education.
In 1999, following a three-year trial period funded by the Danish education authorities, the Agency was transferred to the member states. This formally established the Agency as a European organisation with the mandate to act as its member states’ platform for collaboration in the field of special needs and inclusive education.
The Agency’s original name was European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. The current name – European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education – formally came into effect as of 1 January 2014 to better reflect the Agency’s current and future activities.