Europe has many professional and scientific societies in Informatics and Computing (IT), the area referred to as ICST: Information and Communication Science and Technology. The European Forum for ICST answers to the widespread realization that, through its societies, the European ICST community needs to join forces.

In 2008, the EC asked ERCIM to organise an expert group to discuss the issues at ICT Conference that year. A report was produced that outlined the needs (ICT scientific societies at the dawn of the 21st century: which opportunities for Europe). ERCIM was asked to organise another session at ICT 2010, now also including the outcome of a SMART project  that had reported on the many options for greater cooperation.

At the European Computer Science Summit (ECSS 2010) in Prague a special panel led by Jan van Leeuwen, then VP of Informatics Europe, assessed the situation of the scientific societies and their possible evolution in "the changing landscape" (cf. "Future of the European Scientific Societies in Informatics").  The panelists from ACM Europe, CEPIS, EAI, ERCIM, EAPLS, EATCS and Informatics Europe agreed to take a next step towards the possible realization of a platform organzation.

On March 17, 2011 at the CEPIS office in Brussels, the panel (in extended form) met again and decided to form a  `strong but low overhead' platform organization,  in the interest of all societies present and the ICST field in general. A Task Group was formed to design a blueprint for an open platform for all (scientific) ICST societies in Europe. The Group consisted of: V. Baltac (CEPIS), B. Bigalke (EAI), Chr. Choppy (Informatics Europe), K. Jeffery (ERCIM), M. Shapiro (ACM Europe), P. van Roy (EAPLS), and J. van Leeuwen (Informatics Europe, ACM Europe, and EATCS, moderator). The Task Group delivered its report to the Extended Panel in July 2011.

On November 7th, 2011 and co-located with the European Computer Science Summit (ECSS 2011) at the Politecnico di Milano, the panel met again for a final meeting. The panel decided unanimously to establish the European Forum for ICST as a joint, open platform for further cooperation, as described in the blueprint report (see Milan agreement). In 2012, CEPIS left the initial group, but ECCAI joined the Forum. In 2013 more societies are expected to join. Early 2013 the Forum issued its Strategy 2013-2015 report, outlining the next steps in its development as the cooperative platform of ICST societies in Europe.