Conference of the Leading Psychologists

The 16th European Congress of Psychology was held on July 2–5 at the Lomonosov Moscow State University.  

The European Congress of Psychology is a major psychological forum and a significant global scientific event held biannually under the auspices of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA). EFPA unites 37 national professional psychological associations representing approximately 1.5 million European psychologists. The first Congress was held in Amsterdam in 1989, and has been taking place biannually in various European cities ever since.

In 2019, the European Congress of Psychology received UNESCO’s general auspices for the first time, reflecting the importance of psychological research and practical work.

The Congress received the support of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. The congress was organized by the Russian Academy of Education, Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Russian Psychological Society.

The key priority of the Congress was the development of scientific research in the field of psychology and related disciplines at the national level (representatives of 61 Russian regions participated in the Congress) and internationally. The total number of participants exceeded 4,000 people from 92 countries. Pressing issues of the human sciences, including the opportunities of using psychology to solve universal problems and the strategy of digitali­zation of psychological assistance, were discussed with the heads of leading public, private and non-profit organizations, including between the presidents of local, regional and international psychological associations.

From June 30 to July 1, the International Summer School «Human Development Stu­dies» was held at the Faculty of Psycho­logy of Lomonosov Moscow State University as part of the congress. Thanks to the support of the Russian Science Foundation, postgraduate and undergraduate students as well as young scient­ists from 16 countries were able to attend the school for free.

The Congress has become an excellent platform for expansion international and interdisciplinary cooperation in order to address the problems in the field of sustainable development. For the first time, a symposium of the BRICS countries was held, featuring a discussion on cooperation between the psychological communities of these countries. In total, the congress program span 3 days and included 22 parallels of acade­mic exchange.

A number of parallels was dedicated to supporting inclusive social development, enhancing intercultural dialogue, as well as issues of cross-cultural psychology, gender equality, overcoming the language barrier.

One of the pressing topics of the Congress was the problem of education, and special attention was given to the national project of the Russian Academy of Education “Growing in Russia” aimed at studying children of preschool and school age. In addition, as part of a series of excursions “Psychology in Russia”, participants of the Congress had a chance to visit Moscow schools and learn about cutting-edge teaching technologies in Russia.

UNESCO’s global priorities did not go unnoticed during the preparation for the Congress. During the past years, a lot of efforts have been made to ensure participation of colleagues from Africa. As a result, more than 100 participants from South Africa, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Ghana, Egypt and Tunisia attended the event.

The opening ceremony of the Congress was held on July 2 at the State Kremlin Pala­ce. The choice of the venue demonstrated the prominent status and attention of the Government of the Russian Federation to humanitarian problems. For the first time, the opening of the Congress included awarding of the Lev Vygotsky Prize established by the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations on the recommendation of the Russian Psychological Society.

The Congress was highly appreciated by the management of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations, the International Union of Psychological Science, the executives of psychological associations from the Americas, Asia and Africa and all of participants.

Yuri Zinchenko, President of the Russian Psychological Society