A Short History
In 1990, Jacques-Alain Miller established the European School of Psychoanalysis (EEP), anticipating the birth of the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) in 1992. The EEP was founded alongside the School of the Freudian Cause (École de la cause freudienne, ECF) and brought together several groups – in Europe and beyond – which followed the Lacanian orientation. Since then three more Schools were created and were welcomed into the EEP: the Escuela Lacaniana of Psychoanalysis (ELP) in Spain (2000), the Scuola di Lacaniana Psicoanalisi (SLP) in Italy (2002), and the New Lacanian School (NLS), which brought together several countries in Europe and elsewhere (2003).
In 2008 the EEP decided to transform itself into the European Federation of Psychoanalytic Schools (FEEP), and the ECF decided to join. As a result, we now have a federation that brings together the four schools of the WAP in Europe.
The aim of the FEEP was to coordinate the fight against the ideology of evaluation and its legislative initiatives, as well as to fight certain health policies relating to mental health in the countries of the European Union. Furthermore, in coordination with the WAP, it concerned itself with some extimate functions of the European Schools, especially those relating to the pass and other issues concerning the formation of psychoanalysts.
From the FEEP to the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis
The transformation of the FEEP into the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis (EFP), which took place in June 2010, was in response to a reading of the current political reality concerning psychoanalysis and how it is viewed both internally and externally.
Externally, the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis reflects a desire to make itself more present to the European political authorities. The ideology of generalised evaluation, the spread of CBT, the legislative initiatives concerning the psy field that attack psychoanalysis, the attempts to marginalise talking therapies via the rise of the neurosciences and the market for psychotropic drugs – these are the spare parts [pièces détachées] of a crushing machine that it is no longer sufficient merely to study, criticise, and denounce. It is about turning our community of the Lacanian orientation into a spanner in the works at the European level, and no longer limiting ourselves to local battles in each country – even though they remain important.
Internally, the transformation of the FEEP was an aspect of the EFP “the Paris event” of November 2009. On the one hand, this event put the analyst’s rapport with her own unconscious at the centre of her ethics and training, with the pass as its horizon. On the other hand, it gave a voice to “newcomers” – those who Jacques-Alain Miller named “Generation Forum” – who had attached themselves to the ECF on the basis of its political commitment. The EuroFederation is eager to sustain this paradoxical knotting of broad collective political commitment and the principle of “demassification of enunciation”.
Furthermore, the EFP continues to perform the FEEP’s original functions for the European schools of the WAP. It has its own mechanisms for the pass and participates in debates about how these devices work in the schools (except for the ECF, which has its own long-established tradition). It also continues to hold an extimate position for seminars in some schools.
A European Working Community
The EFP did not create the European community of psychoanalysis in the Lacanian orientation: this working community already existed. But the community had to be structured to acquire an effective symbolic consistency. Two operations were required for this purpose; first, to cross the boundaries of organisations of the working communities in a particular country, school, or language in order to open up the European dimension. Second, it was to give substance to the large number who constituted the membership in the Lacanian orientation of the WAP and the Freudian Field in Europe. This new signifier has had an effect on the lives of our schools and our working groups. It has encouraged a flurry of exchanges between group members who recognise their common membership in the EuroFederation, regardless of the country or language or school to which they belong.
The Directories of the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis
Both directories of the EuroFederation – the Regional Directory and the Membership Directory – give substance to our European community.
The Regional Directory
This directory contains 56 regions listed in alphabetical order and 86 sub-regions, centres in which a small psychoanalytic community is active within a region. This directory reflects the embedding of psychoanalysis in the Lacanian orientation in Europe. Each region or sub-region has its own regional representative. Thus the Regional Directory establishes a link between local groups of members and the EFP representing the European community of psychoanalysis in the Lacanian orientation.
The Membership Directory
This directory of members of the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis is an associative list. According to its regulation, it includes members of associations (local, regional or national) affiliated with the four schools reunited in the EFP. It may also include certain members of European study groups in the Foundation of the Freudian Field. Inclusion in this directory testifies to the interest and support of the registrant for the analytical cause in the Lacanian orientation, as it is directed in Europe by the Schools of the WAP and the Freudian Field. It does not guarantee the training or practice of the member, because that falls to the Schools of the WAP.
The European Congress of Psychoanalysis
Every two years the EFP organises a European Psychoanalytic Congress which brings together colleagues from all over Europe. It takes place with simultaneous translation in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch. The organisers are concerned to give these languages epistemic and political significance.
The first Congress (PIPOL 5), entitled “Does Mental Health Exist?”, was held on 2 and 3 July 2011 in Brussels. The second (PIPOL 6), also held in the European capital, on 6 and 7 July 2013, was entitled “After Oedipus: Women Come Together in the Future”. The third Congress, again in Brussels, took place on 4 and 5 July 2015, under the title “Victim!”. The fourth European Psychoanalytic Congress will take place in Brussels on 1 and 2 July 2017, and is titled “A Non-Standard Clinical Practice”.
The journal Mental speaks loudly and clearly for the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis. This is a European journal of high intellectual quality that has been politically engaged with the questions of psychoanalysis and mental health since its creation in 1995.
The EuroFederation's electronic site is available in the four languages of the Schools of the EFP. It contains the founding texts, a presentation of the EFP, discussion texts, a Mental column, information on the upcoming European Congress and links to the PIPOL blog, research institutes and schools.
This electronic mailing list was created in order to stimulate debate at the heart of our European working community. It is distributed in the four languages of the EFP Schools.
The PIPOL Blog
The blog, an innovation of PIPOL 7, was designed to energise preparations for the Congress. It is now being updated for PIPOL 8 and is accompanied by a newsletter It is available at www.pipol8.eu.
Translated by Janet Haney & John Haney, reviewed by Susan McFeely