Despite growing interest in EU-level transnational networks there is little understanding about how these form. This article investigates the formation of one network – the European Coalition for Vision (ECV). Using document analysis of 100 email exchanges, 12 semi-structured interviews and observation of 5 ECV meetings, it identifies environmental and organisational triggers, most important to the creation of the ECV. Findings show that while environmental triggers played a role in ECV formation, organisational triggers were crucial. In particular, the presence of network leaders, a network entrepreneur and a network mentor were vital for the successful creation of the network.