Health research is fundamental for clinical excellence, a fact that applies equally to emergency medicine (EM). Although European scientific publication rates in EM have traditionally been lower than those of other medical specialties, from 1995 steady progress has been made. To increase the scientific output in EM it is necessary to resolve issues that hinder this progress, including the fact that EM is a new specialty, or even nonexistent in many European countries. This has resulted in a relative lack of scientific culture and training in research methodology of emergency physicians, of explicit recognition of scientific work, or of emergency physician competitiveness to apply to national and European grants for research projects. In addition, it is necessary to improve representation of European journals indexed in the category of EM and to receive a firm boost to EM research from the European Society for Emergency Medicine as well as from all European national societies. This study reviews these aspects and offers a personal perspective on where European EM research should be going.