This paper reviews the first phase of the history of the Union Europeenne des Experts Comptables Economiques et Financiers (UEC) from its formation in 1951 to 1963. In 1963, the UEC's membership, which initially was confined to Continental Europe, was significantly changed by the accession of accountancy bodies from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. During this period, the UEC served as a focal point in debates over a possible future unification of the accountancy profession in Europe. There were considerable differences of view on this point between the bodies which formed the UEC and those which initially stayed outside. In particular, the paper highlights the role played by the main Dutch accountancy body, the Nederlands Instituut van Accountants (NIVA), which took a decidedly hostile attitude towards the UEC. It is shown how the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC) and its plans to create a common market for accountancy services brought about a clash between the UK and Dutch bodies on the one hand and the UEC on the other, which was resolved in 1963 by the negotiated accession of the former outsiders to the UEC. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.