The idea of creating a European motorcycle organization was starting from the need to face certain themes strictly connected to particular local situations. For example, the necessity to study a “European licence”, after the European Union had liberalized the sport activity in its 15 affiliated countries, or to find a solution to the great difficulties of the Eastern Europe countries in developing an international sporting activity in the situation of great crisis after the fall of the Berlin wall.
All the problems that the FIM, world-wide organization, would have managed and controlled with difficulty in such a short time.
On the 5th September 1995 the representatives of 7 National Motorcycle Federations met in Munich in order to create a European Union of the national Federations, like the Latin-American Union that has existed for many years and recognized by the FIM.
The Federations who were present in Munich are those of France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Slovakia, Portugal and Germany (ADAC). A document of agreement was signed in which it is specified that the new organization was not born in opposition to the FIM but inside it, in order to improve promotion, development and diffusion of motorcycling in the Old World and achieve a strict cooperation among the National Federations, especially with those countries where motorcycling was not yet developed.
During a further meeting in Bratislava on the 27th November 1995 other Federations (Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and Czech Republic) asked to be a part in the new organization.
The election of Mr Francesco Zerbi as the FIM President gave a new enthusiasm to those who had believed in this initiative and on the 17th February 1996, on the FFM initiative, a Constituent Assembly was convened in Paris during which 21 National Motorcycle Federations decided to join the UEM. Germany was no more represented by the only ADAC, but by the National Federation (OMK).
The Assembly approved the Statutes and elected Mr Jean-Pierre Mougin as President, the eight members of the Management Council and two Auditors. The legal Head Quarters of the UEM ( Union Européenne de Motocyclisme – European Motorcycle Union) was located in Mies at the FIM Headquarters and the Executive Secretariat in Rome, considering the appointment of Mr Vincenzo Mazzi as Secretary General.
Mr Wilhelm Lyding, ADAC Sport President and promoter of the UEM constitution, was appointed Honorary President.
Two Commissions were also formed, a Sporting Commission presided by Mr Dieter Junge and a Commission for Promotion, Tourism, Road Safety and Mobility presided by Mr Jorge Viegas, both composed of specific Working Groups whose members were not elected, but appointed by the Management Council in order to grant a certain efficiency and flexibility.
This organization had a temporary validity of two years, the necessary time for the UEM to grow up and move the first steps. In the meantime, a Working Group presided by Mr Jacob Douglas was also formed in order to revise the text of the Statutes and to propose the By-Laws.
The UEM was officially recognized as a Continental Union (CONU) at the 1997 FIM Congress in Athens.
In 2010, FIM amended its statutes by deciding the six exsisting CONUs would be named henceforth as follows: FIM Africa, FIM Asia, FIM Europe, FIM Latin America, FIM North America and FIM Oceania.
On 30 November 2012, an UEM Extraordinary General Assembly took the decision to modify its statutes accordingly.