The first meeting of the European Club on Paediatric Intensive Care (ECPIC) was held in Barcelona 1980 during the XVI International Congress of Paediatrics. During this congress, a small group of paediatric intensivists from Belgium, France, West Germany (at that time), Italy, The Netherlands and Spain decided to organise regular yearly meetings. In their opinion, the aim of the Club would be to promote meetings between intensivists mainly involved in the care of infants and children. Indeed, at that time, numerous meetings brought together either neonatologists or adult intensivists but few opportunities were offered to paediatric intensivists to meet.
This initiative was the beginning of ESPIC – the first European Society of Paediatric Intensive Care. In the following years, much work was invested to make sure that the working group developed into a society with a defined structure and statutes.
In Paris, in September 1988, for the first time, 150 PICU Nurses met for a symposium. A precedent was set for further initiatives and the ‘ESPIC Nursing working group’ was founded. Initially, the nurses were associated, individual members of the European Society of Paediatric Intensive Care (ESPIC).   In 1994, the statutes of ESPIC were modified and the society was divided into a medical and a nursing branch. To support continuous progress in all parts of paediatric and neonatal intensive care in Europe, ESPIC Medical and ESPIC Nursing worked closely together under the roof of ESPIC.   In 1998, the Society’s name was changed into ESPNIC (European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care) in acknowledgement of the involvement of neonatal intensive care nurses and physicians in the organisation since the beginning and with the aim of promoting an important specialty of intensive care.