The European University Foundation (EUF) is based on a proposal of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who wanted to give a new impulse to education in the European Union during the German presidency of the first half of 1999.

A group of German experts in university education - chaired by Dr Konrad Schily, former President of the University of Witten, and Prof.  Meinolf Dierkes, former President of the Social Science Research Centre Berlin -  were asked to design a concept that would provide a "European dimension" to higher education.