The EDNSG was born at the EASD meeting in Rome in 1986. Professor Giancarlo Viberti was asked by the President of the EASD, Professor Andreani on behalf of the EASD Secretariat to form a Nephropathy Study Group.

A number of key individuals were invited to be Founding Members. These included T. Deckert, J. Sandahl Christiansen, L. Groop, S. Gambardella, A. Gnudi, C. Hasslacher, J. Jervell, M. Marre, C.E. Mogensen, R. Navalesi, R. Nosadini, R. Østerby, H-H. Parving, and P. Watkins.

The Charter of the Study Group was drawn up between 1986 and 1987 and approved by the membership. Giancarlo Viberti became the founding President of the group and Jens Sandahl Christiansen the first Secretary.

The first meeting was held in Pisa, in the spring 1988, and was hosted by the late Professor Navalesi, who was Professor of Medicine at the University of Pisa.