The History of the FEO

The Idea

The FEO story began on a sunny day in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. in May 1996. A think tank composed of Prof. J. Dahan, Prof. G.P. Farronato and Prof. E. Gianni took the opportunity of the AAO convention to meet and discuss how updated and comprehensive orthodontic information could circulate throughout all European orthodontic societies. The State of the Art in European and International Orthodontics would have to be shared, with no language or national boundaries. Prof. Dahan was delegated to start queries about the feasibility of the project and the interests of the national societies.

From Ideas to Plans

A preliminary meeting was organised in Brussels, Belgium on 29 June 1996 and supported by the Alpha Delta East West Orthodontic Club (Brussels) and the Belgian Orthodontic Society (SOBOR).

Chairpersons from the Belgian, French and Italian Societies met at the Sheraton Brussels Airport and decided to create a federation [in Latin called Foederatio Europea Orthodontica (F.E.O.)] as a means of promoting the orthodontic standard of all the European nations and assume together with the existing professional societies the definition of excellence. A provisional committee consisting of Prof. José Dahan as Secretary and Prof. Gianpetro Farronato as Treasurer was created. Consulting delegates from the national societies were also selected.

A second meeting took place in Venice,Italy on 24 October 1996. The Chairpersons from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain discussed and agreed on the terms of the legal bylaws and those of the internal regulations of the future FEO. The logo and provisional address of the FEO in Brussels were also unanimously adopted. Other meetings followed in Paris 7 December 1996 and Brussels 9 March 1997.

Official Birth

The FEO was formally created on 24 May 1997 in Brussels, Belgium with the signatures of the final version of the bylaws by the six founding societies namely, the Société Belge d’Orthodontie (SOBOR), the Société Bulgare d’Orthodontie (SBO), the Société Française d’Orthopédie Dento-Faciale (SFODF), the Societa Italiana di Ortodontia (SIDO), the Sociedad Espagnola di Ortodonzia, (SEDO) and the Société Luxembourgeoise d’Orthodontie (SLO). Two other national associations which were actively involved in the whole process, namely the German and the Greek Orthodontic Societies, could not join the group of signatures. Prof. Athanasiou (GOS) who was not yet elected as Chairperson of the Greek association and who helped greatly in the promotion of the FEO was the first to sign in the early days of 1998.

The bylaws were registered at the Belgian Ministry of Law on 13 July 1997, recognised officially on 9 December 1997 and published on 24 February 2000.

The Federation begins to grow & develop

A first Board of Administration was elected at the second meeting in Venice on 25 October 1997. It was composed of Prof. Aldo Ferro (SIDO) as Chairman, Prof. Julien Philippe (SFODF) as Co-Chairman, Prof. José Dahan as General Secretary and Prof. Gianpetro Farronato as Treasurer.

Invitation to membership is sent throughout the continent of Europe.

At the second statutory General Assembly of the FEO in Luxembourg on 8 February 1998, a new board replaced the founding one. Prof. Julien Philippe was elected as president, Prof. Dr. Athanasios Athanasiou as General Secretary and Prof. Dr José Dahan as Administrator. Dr. Thierry De Coster (SOBOR) and Dr. Isabelle Schaak (SLO) were appointed as co-Secretary and co-Treasurer respectively.

Following this meeting, Mr. Julien Philippe addressed a letter to the Presidents of all the Orthodontic Societies in Europe, detailing the goals of FEO.In the letter, he invited all those Orthodontic Societies that were not yet members of the Federation to date, to jointhe newly formed Federation. This landmark letter, which was met with an exceptional response, is reproduced below unabridged.

After the the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) applied for and was accepted as a member of the federation, the two missing board members were elected, Dr C.J.R. Kettler (BOS) took the office of Vice President and Prof. R. Giorgetti (SIDO) became General Treasurer.

In Athens in March 2000 a new Board was elected. Prof. Athanasios Athanasiou as President, Dr. Thierry De Coster, Vice-President, Dr. Allan Thom, General Secretary, Dr. Aldo Carano, General Treasurer and Prof. José Dahan, Administrator. Dr. Odile Steil-Hutereau (SLO) was appointed as co-Secretary.

In accordance with the constitution a new Board was elected in 2002 at the General assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dr. Allan Thom as President, Prof Valentin Moutafchiev as Vice-President, Prof. Afonso Pinhao Ferreira, Secretary-General, Dr Odile Steil Hutereau, Treasurer and Dr Vittorio Cacciafesta, Assistant Secretary.

In 2004, at the General Assembly in Florence, the sixth Board of was elected. Prof. Roberto Martina won the honour of being elected President, Dr. Allan Thom was nominated to the Board as the ex-President, Dr. Olivier Mauchamp was elected Vice President, while Prof. Mirjana Šašić was elected Secretary General. Dr Odile Steil Hutereau remained Treasurer, and Prof. Jose Dahan continued as Administrator.

In 2005, the Board of FEO held its first annual meeting in Paris, under the auspices of the 6th International Orthodontic Congress. This was a great honour for FEO, placing it, as an organisation,on rank with EOS and EFOSA.

FEO participated in the subsequent 7th & 8th IOC meetings in Sydney (2010) and London (2015) respectively, providing vital contributions to the increasingly popular World Village Day events.

Recent Developments

FEO continues to grow and develop. Its membership now is truly pan-European. In its unceasing efforts to fulfil the dreams of its founders, it has developed various awards over the recent years to encourage participation of both young and more mature orthodontic practitioners in the dissemination or relevant clinical and scientific orthodontic information.

Thank you to…

FEO wish to thank all those who have, by their constant contribution over time, advice and financial support, aided in the finalisation of this worthwhile project. Without their faithful support, FEO would have remained only a dream that never came true. Particulatr thanks are due to Dr. Raymonde Duqué, Prof. Gerda Komposch, Dr. André Horn, Dr. G. Prof. V. Moutaftchiev, Prof. R Gonzales Giralda, Prof. J. Campos Neves and Prof. Ennio Gianni for their repeated involvement in time, advice and financial help to finalise the project.

Prof Jose Dahan continued in the role of Administrator in accordance with Belgium Law, until his retirement in 2013. His position as Administrator was taken by Dr. Danny Op Heij

Interested in Membership?

The FEO look forward to welcoming orthodontic societies as new members and join a truly pan european orthodontic organisation.

Further details can be obtained from the Secretary General.

Landmark “Invitation”

In April 1998, Mr. Julien Philippe addressed a letter to the Presidents of all the Orthodontic Societies in Europe, detailing the goals of FEO, and inviting all Societies to join the newly formed Federation. This landmark letter, which was met with an exceptional response, is here reproduced unabridged. In it, he invited all those Orthodontic Societies that were not yet members of the Federation to date, to join.


To the Presidents of the National Scientific Orthodontic Societies of Europe

Dear President,

Several orthodontic societies decided to create an European Federation of Orthodontics [in Latin called Foederatio Europea Orthodontica (F.E.O.)] based in Brussels.

The aim of the federation is to establish and develop good relationships between the national scientific orthodontic societies of the European Continent.

The F.E.O. is not a new scientific society, but it is an organization of structured and formal communication, coordination and cooperation between the orthodontic societies.

The F.E.O. does not aim to organize scientific meetings and will not publish any scientific journal. On the contrary, through its function the F.E.O. will create a network in which all scientific activities (i.e. congresses, symposia, courses, journals, bulletins, etc.) of each member society will be widely publicized and, if possible, harmonized.

The F.E.O. does not replace or compete with existing regional associations and societies. The European Orthodontic Society (E.O.S.) is a scientific society whose members are individuals. The F.E.O. has as members individual societies (one per country). Also the European Federation of Specialists Associations (E.F.O.S.A.) is a professional organization in the European Union with syndicate objectives.

Given the fact that all national scientific orthodontic societies in our continent share the same type of activities and functional challenges, it seems obvious that such a network will be only mutually beneficial and constructive.

We sincerely hope that your society will join the F.E.O. and it will actively contribute to the promotion of Orthodontics in Europe.

We look forward to receive at the earliest possible your comments and suggestions. Following your reply, we will provide you with information concerning F.E.O.s next General Assembly.

For further information, please feel free to contact us.

With best personal regards.


Julien Philippe