Founded in 1949, the Comité Para, in full Comité Belge pour l’Investigation Scientifique des Phénomènes Réputés Paranormaux (‘Belgian Committee for Scientific Investigation of Purported Paranormal Phenomena’), was the first ‘broad mandate’ skeptical organisation in the world. Initially, it served as a pan-European organisation, famously investigating the ‘Mars effect’ and inspiring the foundation of CSICOP in the United States, before European skeptics organised themselves more nationally in the 1980s.
Since the foundation of its Dutch-speaking Belgian counterpart SKEPP in 1990, the Comité Para has focused its activities on Francophone Belgium, co-founding the ECSO in 1994. It publishes a fanzine, Nouvelles Sceptiques (‘Skeptical News’), before 2009 called Nouvelles Brèves (‘Brief News’). In 2014, the committee changed its full name to Comité belge pour l’Analyse Critique des parasciences (‘Belgian Committee for the Critical Analysis of Parasciences’).