From the foundation of the EEA Organization, participation by economics from major Eastern European countries has been the issue of concern. Vienna was chosen as a venue for annual congresses and meetings as central and neutral location. It should be mentioned though that individual membership of economists from Socialist republics was initially impossible. And though the second President of the European Economic Association, Jrnos Kornai obtained a permit for economists from some of these countries, they couldn't pay regular membership fees because of the lack of currency convertibility.
They transferred their membership fee to special blocked account. Such schemes were designed in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland. In 1989, the regime change in Eastern Europe enabled easier contacts between economists from Western and Eastern Europe. The following year the EEA Organization created a standing Committee for Eastern European Affairs, with members from the West and the East. Participation of professional economists from Central and Eastern Europe was supported by the European Commission's ACE program.
In 1993, the Council decided to step down the Standing Committee for Eastern European Affairs, and to waive fee for participants from Economic Commission for Europe with a paper on the program. The same year the TACIS program sponsored 75 three-year memberships from the Commonwealth of Independent States and supported participation of the CIS economists at the Maastricht and Helsinki meetings. A remaining problem was the high membership for people from states with undervalued currencies.
Created by the EEA Organization was a medal to be awarded every two years to authors of the most outstanding article published in the European Economic Review. It has been called the Hicks-Tinbergen medal, meaning that the organization stands for empirical and theoretical work in economics in Europe. The medal was first awarded at the Dublin College in 1992.
In 1993, a biennial award was established for young European economists who have contributed essentially to theoretical and applied research. The first such award was received at the 1993 Helsinki Congress and was awarded at the subsequent EEA European meetings. The European Economic Association and the editors of Economic Policy concluded an agreement which allowed the organization's members to subscribe to this biannual publication at a reduced price. EEA also took control over the editorial process of Economic Policy. In the course of time, the organization has managed to develop a wide range of activities and a Newsletter to announce them and keep in contact with its members.
Currently members of the EEA Organization enjoy a number of benefits, including special discounts in subscribing to Economic Policy, the Journal of the European Economic Association and Association's Journal. They are also invited to attend the EEA annual meetings and congresses at a reduced registration fee and may participate in the specialized workshops, such as the ESMA, and other activities.