Starting from the end of 1993 a group of Directors members of both the EARN Board and the RARE Board requested that the executives committees of both organizations explore the possibility of merging in one single organization, the idea being that there was no need for “2 separate and expensive organizations with such a complementary aim in Europe” and that “with the advent of EBONE the EARN network services, and therefore the EARN Association, had no long-term future”. In reality the EARN Association, contrary to RARE, had a very sound financial situation, including a proper contingency fund, having streamlined its operations reduced the administrative overhead, and was providing increasingly good services to network users across Europe (e.g. providing high-quality user documentation). The merger with the EARN Association would have therefore granted RARE access to the substantial EARN contingency fund, allowed to get credit for the effective user-services activities,  and solved one of its main problems: convince the National Academic Networks in Europe to pay the yearly fees for an organization mainly in charge for “coordination”.

The two Executive committees had a number of joint meetings and eventually agreed on a proposition for a merger, to be brought first to the board of each organization for approval, and afterwards to a joint meeting of the two organizations’ Boards for ratification. In October 1994 the two Boards met jointly, the two organizations were merged and the name Terena was adopted for the joint organization. Frode Greisen, the former EARN President, was elected President of Terena. The new Executive committee of Terena was, among others matters, charged with the task of administratively merging the two organizations. The decision was to use the Dutch-based organization as the continuing legal entity, re-naming it Terena and to terminate the EARN Association in France.

As a result of the merger Terena had 2 offices, the RARE Secretariat in Amsterdam and the EARNCC in Bures-sur-Yvettes (FR), plus a number of part-time employees of EARN working remotely from various European locations (Izmir, TR, Nijmegen, NL, Tel Aviv, IL, Warsaw, PL, Edinburgh, UK). For a few months the new executive worked hard trying to find an optimal solution for the merger of the resources of the parent organizations. On one hand RARE had a fully staffed office in a plush building in the center of Amsterdam,which included a Secretary General, an Executive Officer, a few technical project development officers, and a number of secretaries. On the other hand the EARN French-based office was located in two free-of-charge rooms in a University campus 30 km from Paris and staffed in total with 3 engineers (the one EARN Administrative Assistant was let go immediately after the merger). It was clear to the new Executive that for representative purposes the Amsterdam Office had to become the primary Terena office and therefore it would be difficult to save any money (supposedly the main goal of the merger) without reducing some of its personnel. Due to resistance both from part of the Terena Board and of the Amsterdam Office staff, unhappy with the result of the President’s elections, and wrongly hoping that a large amount of money could be saved by closing the french office, Frode Greisen was forced to resign early in 1995, together with the Executive committee. New elections were held and Stefano Trumpy, together with a smaller executive, was elected as new Terena President.

As the new president, Stefano Trumpy had no choice but to close the EARN office by the summer of 1995, and all the EARN documents, archives, servers, and applications were transferred to the Terena office in Amsterdam. Thanks to one of the last decisions of the EARN Board of Directors in 1994 the coordination of the NJE routing table generation and maintenance was transferred to the GUM-NCC (Global Update and Monitoring Network Coordination Center), a new entity that was createdad-hoc at the University of Nijmegen (NL), managed by Ulrich Giese, former of the EARN Staff, as EARN Master Network Coordinator.

It is worth noting that after the merger none of the staff originally working for EARN got a job at Terena, and that none of the documents and materials transferred by EARN to Terena in 1995 were ever made available on the Internet after the merger. They did not even survived in the archives afterward, as the Terena Secretary General wrote, on February 17, 2015, when requested:

“unfortunately I really have to apologize this time because I don’t have good news for you. I finally got hold of our IT support staff who have been looking at old archives, but what we have does not go back that far. We do not have those documents even in print. I have asked other colleagues, who had been in a management role before my time and I was told that the materials you were looking for were very likely examined by Howard Davies when he worked on a history book of International Research Networking. Howard may still have some copies of key documents, but we don’t know”.

Reportedly EARN is only briefly mentioned in Howard Davies’ book so probably he did not find the documents either because, as you can see in the Archives and Activities sections on this web site, EARN in fact organized several conferences, produced a quite large amount of internal documents and various user documentation.