Desiring to give an organisational structure to international exchange and international co-operation, which are focuses of their activities, leading choir conductors from six European countries and the national unions A CŒUR JOIE (France) and ARBEITSKREIS MUSIK IN DER JUGEND (Federal Republic of Germany) decided on May 15th, 1960, in Geneva to create the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF YOUNG CHOIRS. The first representative meeting of young choirs, EUROPA CANTAT, which took place from July 28th to August 6th, 1961, in Passau/Federal Republic of Germany and in which 69 groups from 12 countries took part, was a convincing confirmation of this decision.
On August 9th, 1962, during the “Fourth Choralies” of A CŒUR JOIE at Vaison-la-Romaine/France and following a proposal submitted by the provisional executive committee, representatives from eight European countries decided to formalise this union by incorporating a “registered society” in accordance with German law, in the absence of any European legal form of a similar nature. On this basis, the society was founded on February 9th, 1963.
During the Tiroler Sängerfest of 1952 in Innsbruck representatives of choir associations in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland established the idea to promote choir singing by exchanging compositions, choirs and other initiatives throughout Europe. In 1954 they proclaimed in St. Gallen the foundation of a West European Union of Singers. The official Foundation Event of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Europäischer Chorverbände AGEC and the election of the first Präsidium (board) took place in Strasbourg on the 10th of December 1955. Since then AGEC consequently used the various abilities of choir singing in order to bring people and nations together. The members of AGEC (national and regional choral federations from all over Europe) aimed to ensure quality by way of composition assignments, conducting courses, training and workshops. In matters concerning the development of singing culture in general, music lessons at schools, the singing amongst young people and the promotion of music education, AGEC played an active role. Other initiatives taken by AGEC were an annual composition prize, the formation of the EuroChor, the EuroFestivalchor and the edition of songbooks.
On May 9th 2009 (decision by membership of AGEC) and November 14th 2009 (decision by membership of Europa Cantat – European Federation of Young Choirs) it was decided to merge the two choral organisations into one under the name of European Choral Association – Europa Cantat from January 1st 2011.