Since 1980 the ALARA principle has been part of the European Basic Safety Standards and has been progressively introduced into national regulations. In the Euratom Directive 96-29 ALARA was re-emphasised as the cornerstone of the radiological protection system. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s ALARA was integrated into many organisations radiation protection programmes, particularly in the nuclear industry. However there was still much to be done espacially in the non-nuclear industry as well as for the management of internal exposure.

Therefore in 1996 the European Commission created a European ALARA Network (EAN), to further specific European research on topics dealing with optimization of radiation protection, as well as to facilitate the dissemination of good ALARA practices within the European industry, research and medical sectors. After the end of the financial support of the European Commission, in 2005, EAN became self sustainable as a not-for-profit association under the French law. 20 countries are participating to the network, which is coordinate by CEPN and PHE.

The Network complements other existing structures such as the International System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) and the European Studies on Occupational Radiation Exposure (ESOREX).