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The organization of the European Shooting Championships was decided at the Congress of The International Shooting Union held in Helsinki in 1952. It was the merit of Romania to organize them for the first time three years later, in 1955. According to the Secretary General of the International Shooting Union at that time, Karl-August Larson, Sweden, the intention of establishing the championships was to organize them in such a way that the number of participants was similar to those of the shooters who took part in the World Championships before the Second World War.

The 1st European Championships at the Tunari shooting range in Bucharest were contested under UIT control and very successfully organized by the National Shooting Federation under the patronage of the President of the Romanian Republic.

It is said that the competitions were at the level of the great traditional championships initiated in 1897.

Moreover they brought new important things in the field of shooting sport as official competitions for women and juniors. The importance of these championships also lays in the fact that they contributed to the development of the shooting sport in the World, continuing the tradition of the Olympic events set forth in Athens in 1896.

The result lists from Bucharest show that USSR won 12 of 13 team medals and 13 individual medals.

Regional competitions were organized as well, of Balkan countries, Latin countries, Nordic countries, and of a union of small European countries. The large agenda of competitions and the achievements at the level of performance contributed to the foundation of the other four continental organizations, confirmed by the International Shooting Union.

The European Shooting Confederation was a direct outcome of a Committee for European Affairs, which the International Shooting Union set up in 1958, during the World Championships in Moscow. Dr. Kurt Hasler was its first chairman.

The Committee worked intensively for the development of the shooting sport in Europe and proposed during the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 the formation of the European Shooting Confederation. Four years later a motion was put before the UIT General Assembly to work out statutes for the Confederation.

It was during the European Championships in Pilzen in 1969 the European Shooting Confederation was formed on 18th August. Representatives of 23 nations were present at the inaugural meeting. This figure includes the Middle East and the North African Mediterranean area federations whose members were, originally, allowed to compete but were not eligible to win European titles.

Gavrila Barani of Romania, a Vice President of the UIT since 1960, has replaced Dr. Kurt Hasler as chairman of the European Committee. It was fitting that he should be appointed President of the new body. His leadership continued to the benefit of European shooting sport until 1989.

Björn Schullström, Sweden, was his successor. He kept the position until 1993, when he left after one period of office.

Gianpiero Armani, Italy was then elected. He chaired the Confederation until he decided to retire in 2001.

In Zagreb, Croatia, on 22. July 2001, the General Assembly elected Unni Nicolaysen, Norway as its first female President and for the first time there were no rival candidates for the position.

Unni Nicolaysen was the ESC President during eight years. On July 11, 2009 at the XXIII General Assembly in Osijek, Croatia, she was succeeded by Vladimir Lisin, Russia. He won the elections to Luciano Rossi, Italy, and became the fifth President of the ESC. On May 18, 2013 during the XXIV Genral Assembly in Moscow, Russia, Mr. Lisin was reconfirmed as President for the next four-years term.

Mr. Vladimir Lisin was re-elected also in 2017. In 2018 he was elected President of the ISSF and decided not to run for re-election in the ESC after the end of his third four-years term. On October 21, 2021, during the XXVIII General Assembly in Larnaca, Cyprus, Mr. Alexander Ratner was elected the new ESC President. He got 52 votes in his favor, while his rival, Mr. Luciano Rossi got 43 votes.