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In 1974, JOSO (the Joint Organisation for Solar Observations, founded in 1969) and CESRA (the Commission of European Solar Radio Astronomers, founded in 1970) had a joint meeting in Bern where it was decided to also cooperate with the theorists and the space people [1]. Driven by Cees Zwaan, Nigel Weiss and Aad Fokker, a "European Solar Meeting Organizing Committee" (ESMOC) was installed, chaired by C. Zwaan. The First Solar Meeting was held in Florence in 1975, attended by more than 200 solar physicists [2]. This was an important meeting for European Solar Physics as at this meeting it was agreed that ESMOC was to proceed with the creation of a Solar Physics Section (SPS) as part of the Astronomy and Astropysics Division of the European Physical Society (EPS). The SPS was approved in 1976 at an EPS meeting in Leipzig, but the important meeting in Firenze in 1975 was numbered as the first European Solar Physics Meeting (ESPM).

The ESMOC acted as the first Board of the SPS with Carol Jordan (Oxford) as the first president and A.D. Fokker (Utrecht) as the first secretary [3]. The second ESPM was organised in Toulouse in 1978, followed by the third ESPM in Oxford in 1981. The fourth ESPM took place in Noordwijkerhout in 1984, the fifth in Titisee in 1987, and the sixth in Debrecen in 1990. In 1990 the European Astronomical Society (EAS) was founded and in 1992 the SPS became a section of the Joint Astrophysics Division (JAD) of EPS and EAS.

The SPS of the JAD of EPS and EAS continued to organize triennial Solar Physics Meetings. The 7th SPM [4] took place in Catania (1993), the 8th in Tessaloniki (1996) and the 9th in Florence (1999). The tenth SPM was organized in Prague in 2002 and the 11th SPM took place in Leuven in 2005. Until then, organising these three-yearly meetings was the principal activity of the SPS Board. Other, minor activities were a short-lived SPS Newsletter and handing out a few prizes. Nevertheless, the SPS was the most active section of the JAD. In 2001, Rob Rutten [5] first reviewed the SPS history and then complained that the European solar physics research area needs better coordination. The SPS Board agreed with this constructive criticism and started to act accordingly.

At the 12th SPM, in Freiburg in 2008, the SPS Board confirmed the need for more and better coordination of the European Solar physics research community and expressed its intention to expand the role of the SPS Board. The Board of the SPS requested to EPS to be upgraded to a Division. On 26 September 2008, the SPS President (Stefaan Poedts) defended the case for a European Solar Physics Division at the EPS Executive Committee meeting in CERN (Geneva). At that meeting, the EPS Executive Committee decided to cease activity of the Joint Astrophysics Division upon the suggestion of its president, Prof. M. Cruise. The Executive Committee also decided to set up a new, self standing European Solar Physics DIVISION (ESPD) in its own right to serve the European Solar Physics Community. The various subject disciplines of the JAD within Particle Astrophysics, on the other hand, became the responsibility of the High Energy and Particle Physics Division of EPS. On 28 March 2009 during its meeting in Bad Honnef, the EPS Council confirmed these decisions.

year name meeting place new president new secretary new vice president
1974 ESMOC Berne C. Zwaan A.D. Fokker
1975 ESMOC ESPM-1 Florence C. Jordan A.D. Fokker
1978 SPS/EPS ESPM-2 Toulouse
1981 SPS/EPS ESPM-3 Oxford
1984 SPS/EPS ESPM-4 Noordwijkerhout
1987 SPS/EPS ESPM-5 Titisee A. Benz
1990 SPS/EPS ESPM-6 Debrecen W. Mattig B. Schmieder B. Schmieder
1993 SPS/JAD ESPM-7 Catania G. Simnett B. Schmieder B. Schmieder
1996 SPS/JAD ESPM-8 Thessaloniki G. Simnett P. Heinzel
1999 SPS/JAD ESPM-9 Florence J. Kuijpers N. Vilmer
2002 SPS/JAD ESPM-10 Prague P. Palle B. Fleck
2005 SPS/JAD ESPM-11 Leuven G. Poletto L. Fletcher S. Poedts
2008 SPS/JAD ESPM-12 Freiburg S. Poedts L. Fletcher V. Nakariakov
2011 SPD/EPS ESPM-13 Rhodes
V. Nakariakov
I. De Moortel
M. Georgoulis




M. Georgoulis

I. De Moortel
L. Green





E. Kontar

T. Pereira

E. Pariat


PS: This information is based on the references below. If you have additional information, please tell us!

References [1] W. Mattig, Hvar Obs. Bull. 28 1, 1-8 (2004).
[2] C. Chiuderi, M. Landini, and A. Righini (eds.), First European Solar Meeting (Florence, February 25-27, 1975). Osservazioni e Memorie Arcetri (Firenze) 105.
[3] A.D. Fokker, "Report on the session: How to promote solar research?", in [2] (1975).
[4] G. Belvedere, M. Rodono, B. Schmieder, G. Simnett (eds.), Poster Papers presented at the Seventh European Meeting on Solar Physics, (1994), Catania Astronomical publication Observatory Special Publication
[5] R. Rutten, ESMN / European Solar Physics Research Area, Proc. of "Solar Encounter: The First Solar Orbiter Workshop", Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain, 14-18 May 2001 (ESA SP-493, September 2001).

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