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In 1978, Erik Greve sent a letter to Wolfgang Leydhecker proposing to set-up a European Glaucoma Society. Leydhecker contacted Jules Francois, then the president of the SOE. Representatives from many European countries were invited to come to Ghent (where Francois lived and worked) and at that historical meeting in 1979 the EGS was finally founded.

The founding Executive Committee members were Wolfgang Leydhecker (Germany) President, Erik Greve (Netherlands) General Secretary, Redmond Smith (UK), Raymond Etienne (France), Joseph Stepanik (Austria), Jules Francois (Belgium), Honorary President. The first congress took place in Brighton UK in 1980.