The EOC Executive Committee (ExCo) met in Trieste, Italy ahead of the 16th edition of the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023, which takes place from 21 – 28 January. The highlights of the ExCo meeting are as follows.

Report of EOC President Spyros Capralos

  • President Capralos welcomed everyone to Trieste.
  • Commented on his hopes for another outstanding EYOF, being one of the most important events in the EOC family.
  • Thanked CONI and the representatives of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region for the organisation of a difficult Festival due to logistics across the region and events taking place in Austria and Slovenia.
  • Commented that 2023 will be an exciting year. The first event is now upon us and eagerly looking forward to the European Games in Poland, EYOF in Slovenia and the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) in Malta.
  • Noted the challenges across Europe and the world over the last year. How these challenges changed sport, particularly European sport, affecting the NOCs and their financial situation.
  • These challenges included Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, inflation, and food prices, and ahead of this EYOF the snow conditions across Europe, which have had a great impact on winter sports.
  • Thanked those involved for their hard work on Strategic Agenda 2030 and the road map it sets out, highlight how important it is to now start implementation.
  • The EOC is looking to work closely with the IOC on climate change issues. There is a need to do more and encourage European NOCs to engage and start activities.
  • Finally, the President proposed a series of reforms in the EOC, limiting the terms of office of the EOC Executive Committee members to a maximum of three terms and bringing on board a CEO to run the operations of the organisation. All the proposals were unanimously approved.

 Report of EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi

  • Highlighted the key areas of activity for the EOC over the last few months.
  • Strategic Agenda 2030 and the Code of Ethics have been approved by the NOCs except for some small text modifications.
  • To ensure relevance of the EOC General Assembly and EOC Seminar it is important to finalise the new format.
  • The commissions and working groups have been working very hard. In particular the VIK working group and their work with ATOS.
  • Highlighted there are two outstanding cases with CAS between the EOC and the Russian Olympic Committee.
  • Talked about the EYOFs in 2025. The summer being confirmed for Croatia and the winter event in Georgia who will be handed the flag at the end of this EYOF in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
  • Finally confirmed the International Testing Agency will perform the anti-doping tasks at the GSSE.

Report of EOC Treasurer Peter Mennel

  • Reported that finances are in line with budget for the year with saving being made in some areas.
  • EOC EU Office is showing a small deficit in 2022, which is mainly due to a new staff member hired in 2021 for additional services the EU office is offering to NOCs and partners and the general increase of administrative costs due to inflation.
  • European Games budget is showing a positive surplus at this time.
  • EOC Budget is unchanged since the last meeting.

Report of European Games 2023 Coordination Commission Chair Hasan Arat

  • Highlighted there is only 5 months to go until the start of the European Games 2023.
  • Commented on the very productive meetings held over the last two weeks with the President of Poland, Polish Minister of Sport and the Marshall of Malopolska.
  • Highlighted the difficulties Poland are facing with the war in Ukraine which has meant three million refugees are living in Poland and that there are Presidential elections this year all contributing to an overall complicated story.
  • Shared that 18 sports have been confirmed with Olympic qualifying events for the Paris 2024 Games. Noting that Boxing has 44 qualification places available and the boxing tournament at the European Games is organised in cooperation with the IOC.
  • The athletics competition will be the biggest event in the history of European Athletics and features 3000 athletes and officials.
  • EBU will broadcast the Games for the first time which is of great value and importance offering additional visibility.
  • Highlighted the LOT Polish Airlines sponsorship and would like to encourage all NOCs to support this excellent partnership.
  • Commented that Esports is an exciting addition to the EG and after attending recent events they have proved to be well organised, and this will be great promotion for the EG and physical activity to the E-sport Community.
  • Noted much information will be provided to the NOCs in the coming weeks.
  • Finally highlighted there will be the Chef de Mission seminar and also a Coordination Commission in March which will be a valuable opportunity to show the fantastic progress which has been made.

EOC Commissions

  • Updates were given across various commissions including;
  • Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Approval was given to progress on the commissions 2023 aspirations, which are all in alignment with the key priorities of Strategic Agenda 2030.
    • To establish a cross commission working group to review and create a library of policies on safe sport.
  • Culture and Education
    • The European Young Olympic Ambassadors programme is present in Friuli Venezia Giulia. There are 26 new ambassadors, 6 Alumni and 3 members from commissions taking part. The ambassadors and EOC team were thanked for their efforts and commitment.
  • Sustainability and Active Society
    • Looking ahead to make concrete action plans in line with the Strategic Agenda 2030. Ambition is to have all 50 European NOCs to develop their sustainability strategies ASAP.
  • ATOS VIK working group
    • Progression on the work with ATOS and a database to develop and give ongoing support to future EYOFs.

EOC General Assembly Format

  • Results of the NOC survey were reviewed by the Executive Committee.
  • Implementation of certain aspects will progress in an effort to modernise the General Assembly.

EOC Strategic Agenda 2030 & Code of Ethics

  • EOC Strategic Agenda 2030 and Code of Ethics are close to being implemented, subject to minor wording changes before the final documents can be accepted.

Updates on the EYOFs

  • Updates were given on the status of the EYOFs.
  • For the 2023 winter edition, taking place this week, all delegations have arrived and are based across 60 hotels in three main clusters. Logistics and transportation at the event are quite complicated, but organisation is very good, and the venues are ready.
  • Maribor 2023 Coordination Commission meeting will be held 19–20 April and the Games planning is on track.
  • There are candidates for both the winter and summer editions of the EYOF 2027.

43rd EOC Seminar

  • Confirmed in Paris from 12–13 May 2023.

Report of the EOC EU Office – Folker Hellmund

  • Highlighted key projects and activities for the EOC EU Office including;
    • 24-26 April training will be offered to NOCs around funding applications, places are still available to attend.
    • ERUSMUS+ has created a new funding stream called ‘Mobility’. Applications are directly with in country organisations and not through Brussels. The funding will support exchanges between NOCs.
    • The biggest project conducted by the EOC EU Office is about to start in conjunction with the IOC, ANOC and 18 NOCs. The project will educate Climate Change Officers within NOCs and help them to understand their carbon footprint and action plans to support the reduction of that carbon footprint.

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