In 1996, Prof. Dr. M.S. Ronald Commers started with the CEVI at the University of Ghent (Belgium). Some national and international contacts were made, and a few preliminary activities were held.
From 1998 on, but still within a loose structure, a group of scholars gathered and discussed along the lines of the research program.
By 2000, a more or less core group of members was formed and a number of working papers gave concrete form to a growing number of research projects.
In 2004 the research program was revisited into a â€˜mission statementâ€™, reformulating its approach as global ethics.