Results of the 47th EOC General Assembly

On November 10, the 47th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) ended in Marbella, Spain. The delegation of the Russian Olympic Committee headed by President Stanislav Pozdnyakov took an active part in its work.

There were a lot of issues to be discussed by the representatives of EOC, and even during the opening of the General Assembly, the EOC Executive Committee’s decision on supporting and protecting the European sports model, adopted several days earlier, was announced more than once.

– The European sports model is under tremendous pressure, – said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in his opening speech. – Perhaps you can even say that it is under threat. Today we face the most serious problems: the commercial approach to sports ignores the social contribution to its development throughout Europe. We must protect the European sports model. And this is not about our own interests, but about the interests of European society.

Arguably, the main event on the basis of the work of the General Assembly was the approval of the northern Italian region of Friuli – Venezia Giulia as the venue for the 2023 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOF). According to the organizers such a choice is due to the desire to use EYOF to create a social, economic and sports legacy in the region, and to improve the level of education and culture of young people through the development of sports and Olympic values.

Thomas Bach shed some light on the upcoming eventful European Sports Year.

– You have a unique opportunity by participating in the European Games, the Youth Olympic Festivals and the Games of Small States next year to demonstrate to all Europeans the future of sports, a new generation of athletes, and new ways of sports involvement, – the IOC head told the General Assembly delegates.

Indeed, EOC pays particular attention to the development of sports among young people: the list of startups among young athletes is increasing every year. And the best of the best at the end of the season are honoured with individual awards. This year the winner of the prestigious Piotr Nurowski Prize was the Austrian cyclist Laura Stigger, who won the Junior Women’s World Championship road race and mountain bike titles. In addition, she received silver in multisport competitions at the III Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The IOC President also highlighted the role of sports in strengthening international stability.

– All the people involved in the Olympic movement bear a huge responsibility. To ensure stability in the near future, we need to make changes now. When we adopted the Olympic Program for 2020, its main idea was the slogan: “To make changes or to change”. The slogan is relevant now more than ever, – said Thomas Bach.

As part of the General Assembly, the New Leaders sports program of the Finnish Olympic Committee was presented, the objective of which is to promote gender equality in sports.

The members of EOC also discussed the topic of doping: the report of the World Anti-Doping Agency was presented by WADA Director, European Regional Office, Sebastien Gillot.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, who led the Russian delegation in Marbella, spoke about the measures taken by the Russian Olympic Committee to change the anti-doping culture in the country.

– First of all, we are very pleased that RUSADA and its activities have been revised and brought into line with the recommendations of international experts, the agency has been fully reinstated in rights.

For us, this decision is evidence that the international sports community, in general, highly appreciated Russia’s efforts in the fight against doping. Our priority is to work at the local, regional (together with NOC neighbours) and international levels in the field of anti-doping education and the improvement of the anti-doping culture among athletes. To do this, we are using both our own educational programs and the experience of our colleagues from the International Olympic Committee, WADA and RUSADA.

I hope that the remaining unsettled issues regarding RUSADA will be resolved soon. Our common goal is for athletes to win in a fair fight, – said the head of ROC.

As part of EOC General Assembly, the ROC delegation held a number of bilateral meetings with the heads of various National Olympic Committees, and a memorandum of cooperation was signed with the NOC of Spain. In addition, prospects for the nomination of Kazan for a comprehensive event under the auspices of EOC were discussed with representatives of the European Olympic Committees.

The next General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees will be held in Warsaw on October 25-26, 2019.