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The CIGRE Biennial Session the most prestigious international event in the electric power industry is held in Paris, France in even number years, last week of August.

Before the First World War the International Electricity Congresses, which were supervised by the International Electrotechnical Comission (IEC) since 1911, covered an area of expertise that was both sectorially more limited and functionally wider to allow sufficiently in-depth studies and feedback of experience on construction and development of networks at very high voltage. The leaders of the Union des Syndicats de lÉlectricité (France) and the Société Suisse pour le Transport et la Distribution de lÉlectricité (Switzerland) turned to the IEC President and decided together on the creation of a specialized body to address in detail the technology of very high voltages. The contacts established in various countries confirmed the aim and led to the organization of a new international event to be held on a regular basis.

The first conference as agreed was held in Paris and considered the inaugural event of a new international electric engineering group. The Secretary General of the Union des Syndicats de lÉlectricité Jean Tribot Laspiere was entrusted with the practical organization of the event and also, more generally, with the study and definition of the administrative structure that was to be associated with the conference.

The first conference took place on 21-28 November 1921 these dates are considered CIGREs birthday. Participants from 12 countries attended the event. The new international Association was named accordingly: Conférence Internationale des Grands Réseaux Électriques à Haute Tension (renamed in 2000). At the opening ceremony the first officers of CIGRE were appointed, and among them Jean Tribot Laspiere, who was elected the first Secretary General of CIGRE and held this position lifelong till 1963.

The second Session took place on 26 November 1 December 1923 and brought together participants from 19 countries, including USSR. The participants unanimously approved two major features of CIGRE established since then i.e. to hold biennial Sessions in Paris in June (since 1968 in August) and to form a National Committee in every country interested in CIGRE.

The Sessions were hold according to the established procedures till 1939. CIGRE was able to start operating again from 1946 and resumed its activities through organizing the 11th Session in Paris on 27 June 6 July 1946. Since then the sessions were held in even number years.

In 1972, after 50 years of existence, the Association recorded more than 2000 participants at the Session representing 56 countries. In 2012 the Session brought together more than 3200 participants from 84 countries.

In 1994 the Session has been complimented with a Technical Exhibition held in the same premises since then.

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Session 2012

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