The Academia Europaea currently has about 3470 members, from 37 European countries, and there are over 147 foreign members from 15 non-European countries. It is therefore a truly multicultural and multidisciplinary organisation with a pan-European reach. The membership has, as its principal objective, the promotion of excellence in scholarship, research, and education.

Individual members of the Academy are elected amongst the most distinguished scholars throughout Europe following a rigorous election process. Membership is always open to the best scientists and scholars. The AE particularly welcomes nominations for women members and for candidates who are under 55 years of age, from all disciplines. The method of election of new members is based on nomination by existing members, and any member of the Academia can nominate a new member from any discipline or any country.

Many of the Members of the Academia Europaea have received very prestigious awards, medals and prizes, such as the Nobel Prize, the Wolf Prize, the Turing Award, the Field Medal, the Lasker Award, the Abel Prize, and the Gödel Prize.