The market organization of Hungarian publishing and book trade is one of the oldest professional associations in Europe. It is the civil organization with the longest tradition in Hungary which was founded fifty years earlier than the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Its first legal successor, the Body of Pest Booksellers was founded in 1795. In 1878 it assumed the name Society of Hungarian Booksellers, which was changed into National Society of Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers in 1919. After the Second World War it functioned under the name National Society of Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers until 1952 when the dictatorial regime banned the association of the book trade similarly to all other self-organized social movements. The Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers Association (MKKE) was re-established in 1968 and achieved its independence which was already declared in MKKE's Articles of Association prior to the political and economic regime change. The Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers Association was the first among the associations of Central European countries to renew its full membership in the International Publishers Association in 1988. Since 1996 the Association has been taking part in the activities of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations /IFRRO/. In 1998 MKKE received the status of associate member and in 2001 became full member in the European Booksellers Federation and in the Federation of European Publishers.
The voluntary Association is made up of companies in Hungarian, foreign or joint ownership which represent 92% of the publications and production in the Hungarian book market. Currently MKKE has 128 members.
The key decision-making body of the organization is the Board of Directors, made up of senior managers from member companies. The eleven members of the Presidium and the Director of MKKE are elected by the Board by secret ballot. The five members of the Supervisory Board and the five members of the Board of Ethics are also made up of elected officials.