ESCOP was founded in June 1989 as an umbrella organisation representing national phytotherapy or herbal medicine associations across Europe, especially in their discussions with European medicines regulators. Since 1996 it has been based in the United Kingdom as a company limited by guarantee. ESCOP has the following Aims and Objectives:


  • to advance the scientific status of herbal medicinal products and to assist with the harmonisation of their regulatory status at the European level.


  • to develop a coordinated scientific framework to assess herbal medicinal products;
  • to promote the acceptance of herbal medicinal products, especially within general medical practice;
  • to support and initiate clinical and experimental research in phytotherapy;
  • to improve and extend the international accumulation of scientific and practical knowledge in the field of phytotherapy;
  • to support all appropriate measures that will secure optimum protection for those who use herbal medicinal products;
  • to produce reference monographs on the therapeutic use of plant drugs;
  • to further cooperation among national associations of phytotherapy to advance these Aims and Objectives.


  • the publication from 1997 through to 2010 of 108 Monographs, as well as revisions, on the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs. These have been formally submitted as leading consensus reviews of the evidence to the Committee of Herbal Medicinal Products (CHMP) at the European Medicines agency, and have been used by the committee to generate core monographs for European marketing authorisations and registrations.
  • The co-ordination and completion of the EU BIOMED research programme Determining European standards for the safe and effective use of phytomedicines.
  • The organisation of six International Symposia in Brussels, Milan, the Hague, Cologne, London and Bonn.

ESCOP Constitution and Structure:

The General Meeting of ESCOP

Members of ESCOP meet formally at Annual General Meetings (AGM’s) or Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM’s) as the ultimate decision-making forum of ESCOP. Among other roles the General Meeting has the following duties:

  • to appoint Directors to the Board
  • to consider and approve annual accounts of ESCOP Ltd
  • to appoint accountants
  • to amend and repeal company rules and procedures

The Board
Honorary Directors appointed at General Meetings, including a Chairman and Treasurer, plus an Honorary Secretary appointed by the Directors.


  • to execute all necessary activities between AGM’s
  • to coordinate the functions and activities of the Committees
  • to represent ESCOP in external contacts
  • to inform members at the AGM and of the Committees about developments within ESCOP and about its own activities in particular.

The Scientific Committees
Comprises delegates from each member country of ESCOP as well as others as appropriate.


  • to produce harmonised European Monographs on the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs on the basis of published information and taking account of the traditional use within European member states
  • to set up as a referee panel a Board of Supervising Editors to finalise drafts of the monographs
  • to submit the monographs to European regulators as proposals for core-SPC (Summary of Product Characteristics) documents in accordance with requirements laid down in EC Guideline 11/9163/89

The Secretariat
Honorary Secretary appointed by the Board and supported by an employed Administrator and other staff as necessary.


  • to execute day-to-day correspondence and administrative work on behalf of ESCOP
  • to support, and provide minutes for, the meetings of the Board and the AGM
  • to manage sales and supply of the ESCOP monographs

ULR : http://escop.com/