AESOP's was founded in 1987 and has been registered as a non-profit association under Belgian law since May 1992.
The formal charter establishing AESOP was signed in Dortmund, Germany in 1987 and has the following objectives:
- to represent the interest of planning schools in Europe in national and international administrations and organisations, particularly within Europe
- to promote the development of teaching and research in the field of planning
- to facilitate co-operation and exchange between planning schools in Europe, and to encourage the harmonisation and equivalence of their degrees
- to articulate a European dimension within planning education as part of the process of institutional co-operation and integration within Europe, bearing in mind also the prospect of increasing professional mobility within Europe
- to foster and enrich higher education in planning across Europe by mutual support, including facilitating dialogue, exchange visits and the spread of information
- to defend the cause of expanding and enhancing higher education in planning and
- to promote a progressive approach to planning education in schools of planning by experts with a rounded view against rival claims from older-established academic units and from other disciplines and professions
New AESOP Charter was accepted by AESOP Council of Representatives on 5th May 2012 in Oslo.