This paper describes the process that lead to the creation of the European Regional Focal Point (ERFP). The action was suggested by the FAO Global Strategy (1995) aimed to assist countries to stop animal diversity erosion by helping them with a better use and preservation of their livestock resources.
In 1997, France accepted the responsibility of developing an ERFP though its Bureau des Ressources Génétiques (BRG). During the first year, the ERFP held meaningful discussions with the different European countries with the objective of finding a general agreement for an organisational structure as well as a medium-term work programme. The following step was settled during the Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP) in Warsaw where it was agreed that the new body had to have a light structure and respect national sovereignty regarding the AnGR.
In February 2000, following a difficult internal debate involving the establishment of a basic strategy and further steps, an enquiry was launched among the National Coordinators in order to have an overall picture and to evaluate the usefulness of the proposed organisation to be established. In 2000 during the 6th Workshop of the European NCs, the ERFP was created.
The new structure is based on
a) an Annual Meeting of National Focal Points;
b) a Steering Committee; and
c) a Secretariat to be elected among the National Focal Points to serve for a limited period.