HALMA is a network of European literary institutions which helps to connect European cultural and literary scenes. HALMA provides a platform for the exchange of European writers, translators and literary promoters. Via projects of HALMA institutions, the granting of scholarships and the organization of public events in all participating countries, HALMA creates transnational structures for European literature.

HALMA makes possible cooperations which used to be hindered by the lack of supranational structures or the mere knowledge of potential partners. The network does not only offer information about partners, but is itself available as an initiator and partner for European initiatives and scholarships.

"The HALMA initiative enables leading figures from  national literary scenes to work together at a range of venues in Europe, to discuss and revisit  their aesthetic and ethical positions regarding perceptions of foreigners as friends and equal  partners in the European project. Or to put it more succinctly: HALMA wants to nurture literature that is truly European", said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, in April 2007 in a presentation of the network during the German presidency of the European Council.

In November 2006, the Literary Colloquium Berlin (Germany) founded HALMA together with the Robert Bosch Foundation (Germany) and the Borderland Foundation of Sejny (Poland). Back then, the focus was on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Currently there are 26 HALMA institutions in Austria, Belarus,  Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Wales.