In order to support European efforts to respond to global peace challenges, the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Finland in 2010 launched an initiative for a European Institute of Peace.

Following consultations with European governments, international conflict resolution organizations, European Union institutions, and senior experts on peace and security, the statutes for the EIP were signed on 18 February 2014.

On 5 May 2014 the inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors took place with participation of the founding members: Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Mr. Staffan de Mistura was appointed President of the Board and immediately took up his duties. Subsequently, Ambassador Marc Otte was elected Vice President.

The Institute was launched by Foreign Ministers of the member states and the President of the Board at a press conference on 12 May 2014.