25 November 2017

The 46th annual European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly closed today in the Croatian capital, with newly elected President Janez Kocijančič calling for the continued collaboration and hard work of the 50 European National Olympic Committees.

The highlight of the two-day General Assembly was the election of the Executive Committee for the 2017-2021 quadrennial.

Over the course of the two days, there were a number of reports from various Commissions and Organising Committees of past and future Olympics and continental Games, including reports from Minsk 2019 European Games Coordination Commission Chair Spyros Capralos and the Chief Executive of the Games George Katulin. Both reported that preparations for the Games are progressing well, which was reflected on Thursday when the EOC and European Athletics signed a historic agreement to launch the exciting “Dynamic New Athletics” concept in Minsk, in 2019.

Speaking after the final press conference, President Janez Kocijančič said:

“It has been an excellent few days in Zagreb, where we have had the chance to reflect on the excellent work of all of the EOC Commissions and the European National Olympic Committees throughout the year. Over the past two days, we have heard detailed reports on all of the key topics, which has demonstrated the strong position we are in and forms the platform for the EOC to keep on improving next year. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this excellent General Assembly, not least our friends at the Croatian Olympic Committee, who I am sure everyone will agree have been exceptional hosts.

“Next year is a crucial year for the EOC, as the second edition of the European Games grows closer. Preparations for the Games in Minsk are going well, as we heard in the reports of Spyros Capralos and George Katulin, and we are grateful to have the excellent cooperation of the Organising Committee. However, it is crucial that we continue to work hard together next year to ensure the European Games product reaches its full potential.”

Today, the European Olympic Laurels were awarded to six NOCs’ sports leaders who have distinguished themselves for their merits and their commitment to Sport: Victor Sanchez (Spain), Tzeno Tzenov (Bulgaria), Roberto Fabbricini (Italy), Igor Lysov (Ukraine), Mieczyslaw Nowicki (Poland), and Rezso Gallov (Hungary).

Yesterday, the 2017 EOC Order of the Merit, the Association’s highest distinction, was awarded to Croatian Olympic Committee President and EOC Executive Committee member Zlatko Mateša, with Kocijančič praising his instrumental role as the “founding father” of the European Games.

Last night, the Croatian Olympic Committee hosted a Gala Dinner, where Italian cyclist Letizia Paternoster was awarded the 7th Piotr Nurowski “Best Young European Athlete” Prize.

EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi spoke of the EOC’s gratitude for the high-quality organisation of this year’s General Assembly:

“I would like to congratulate Croatian Olympic Committee President Zlatko Mateša and Secretary General Josip Čop for their exceptional work leading the outstanding preparation and staging of this year’s General Assembly. The Croatian Olympic Committee has an excellent team and great leadership and we are very grateful for the cooperation we have shared to organise this event.”

Next year’s General Assembly will take place in Marbella, Spain.