The series of international statistical congresses ended somewhat abruptly with the Budapest gathering in 1876. Articles published in international statistics journals conveyed the urgency of the need for organisational reforms. Anyone who has followed the debate about the future of the European Union will have seen many parallels between contemporary events and the dealings of the international statistical congresses. The International Statistical Institute (ISI), which was established in London in 1885, was in many ways the congress's natural successor. The founders of the ISI emphasised the professionalism of the institute and limited membership to 150 to keep out the 'free-floating intelligentsia', who in the opinion of many experts had had a disruptive influence on the congresses. ISI publications, in particular the Bulletin de l'Institut international de statistique, addressed the subjects and methods of statistical research more systematically and with greater precision than the congress reports.