EFEM brings together legally constituted Scientific Societies and Groups in Europe, that are concerned with the morphological sciences (particularly anatomical sciences) or related fields. Its constituent Societies are therefore national or regional societies representing scientists working in the realm of experimental morphology. EFEM recognizes, and respects, the independence of the internal planning arrangements of its constituent Societies.
EFEM was founded in 1989 in Nancy (France) by some British, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Swiss anatomists, who, being Officers of their respective Anatomical Societies, sought to formally improve international understanding and collaboration. EFEM now has 23 Associations covering the whole of the European region.
According to its bye-laws, EFEM promotes the exchange and dissemination of information between the European Anatomical Societies in general and thus also between the European morphologists. Therefore, it facilitates the holding of Joint Meetings of Anatomical Societies without organizing by itself such meetings. It publicizes a list of prospective Morphological Meetings in order to help the organizers to avoid collisions of dates. It sponsors the EFEM Lectures given by prestigious speakers during Congresses or Meetings in Europe. It encourages the exchange of graduate students and stimulates the participation of young scientists at Morphological Meetings by awarding Travel Grants. The philosophy of EFEM aims to promote Anatomy as a modern, and innovative, science rather than to merely defend it.
Each Anatomical Society belonging to EFEM elects a Delegate to the Council of EFEM. This Council is the governing body of the Federation and thereby defines its policy. It commits its executive powers to a seven-member Executive Board, which is chaired by the President of EFEM.