Imagine Europe in 1991! No Euro, no crises, but a lot of discussion about progress – and Maastricht was still a little known town in the Netherlands.
NEMO is a child of the positive thinking in those years, where culture became an object in the European political debate and later got its own regulations in the Maastricht Treaty (1992).
How could museums find their platform in a coming European Union?
The answer was a network between museums associations, which could match the supra national institutes in the EU. The first task was to produce a survey of European museums organizations. Before the internet (only 300.000 computers were connected world-wide in 1991!), it was not an easy job, and it took some months.
The first meeting of NEMO, called the "EC Conference of Museums", was held in Copenhagen on 6-8 May 1992 with the purpose to establish a European network of museum professionals. The meeting was attended by representatives of museum organisations from all over Europe. The assembly decided that NEMO would be an advisory body to EC as well as a cooperating body for museums in Europe.
Since then NEMO has travelled the compass card in Europe and learnt about conditions for museums. We have also placed museums on the European agenda and given heritage institutions a voice in Brussels. But even more important: NEMO has brought together the museum organisations in Europe into a network of fine personal relations.
- since 2014 David Vuillaume, Director of the Swiss Museums Association
- 2010-2014 Siebe Weide, Director of the Netherlands Museums Association, The Netherlands
- 2009 - 2010 Elizabeta Petrusa-Strukelj, Executive Member of the Slovenian Museums Association, Slovenia
- 2006 - 2008 Mechtild Kronenberg, Director of the German Museums Association, Germany
- 2002 - 2005 Anja-Tuulikki Huovinen, General Secretary of the Finnish Museums Association, Finland
- 1998 - 2001 Mark Taylor, Director of the Museums Association, United Kingdom
- 1995 - 1997 Manus Brinkman, Director of the Netherlands' Museums Association, The Netherlands
- 1992 - 1994 Frank Birkebaek, Former Chairman of The National Council of Museums, Director of the Roskilde Museum, Denmark