The founding conference which took place on 8-9 December 1997 in Bonn, Germany, in the Maritim Hotel. The event brought together over 500 representatives of big, medium and small business from 37 OSCE member-states. Apart from Russian energy majors RAO Gazprom, RAO US Russia and LUKOIL, such renowned majors of the European business as ABB, Deutsche Bank AG, Siemens, Phillips, Ruhrgas, Tractebel, Tetra Laval, Dresdner Bank, Credit Lyonnais, ENI, Bayernwerk, Gaz de France, Mannesmann, BHP Petroleum, Neste Oy, Ferrostaal, Gasunie, Norsk Hydro etc. Took part in the event.
The statements were made by such prominent politicians and businessmen as ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. Igor Ivanov, the German Minister of Education Mr. Jürgen Rüttgers, Chairman of Siemens Mr. Heinrich von Pierer, the Mayor of Bonn Mrs. Dickmann. Dr. Rem Vyakhirev, the former Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom, was elected President of the newly-founded European Business Congress, and Dr Georg Krupp, the then Member of the Board, Deutsche Bank AG,- the Vice-President. In the course of the conference, 56 companies expressed their wish to join the newly-founded organisation. On December 9th, 1997, in the frame of the Founding conference, 5 working committees were set up and held their first meetings: Energy, Business Security, Law, Banking and Finance, Ecology and Healthcare, Information and Communications.