EHF Congress: Two days to shape European handball future
The EHF Congress 2021 is set to take place in Vienna on Friday and Saturday this week, with the election of a new president and a new Executive Committee being a key milestone as the European Handball Federation prepares for the next decade.
Following the EHF Congress 2016 in St. Wolfgang, Austria, this is the next electoral one and the delegates voted for will remain in their position for four years until 2025.
For the 53 positions that will be filled at this congress, 139 nominations from 38 federations have been received and the interest for the top positions in European handball is high.
'European Handball Future' is the slogan chosen for EHF Congress, and another key point on the agenda is the interim report of the European Handball Master Plan which was first presented at the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in January last year.
"The EHF’s newly elected bodies and stakeholders will be tasked with providing inputs, ideas and proposals for the plan. This is their opportunity to shape the future of handball and I trust that with their knowledge, expertise and passion for the game, we will realise our vision of making handball the most attractive team sport in Europe," says EHF President Michael Wiederer.
EHF EXEC election overview
For the EHF Executive Committee, President Michael Wiederer (AUT) runs for four more years in office, and no second candidate has been nominated.
For the position of the 1st Vice-President, the current office-holder Predrag Boskovic (MNE) is challenged by Tjark de Lange (NED). For the position of the Vice-President Finances only Henrik La Cour (DEN), who has been in this position since 2016, has been nominated.
The chairpersons of the EHF’s three main commissions form also part of the EHF EXEC, and Bozidar Djurkovic (SRB) runs for a second term as chair of the Competitions Commission. For this position, also Thierry Wagner (LUX) has been nominated.
Jerzy Eliasz’s (POL) time at the helm of the Methods Commission will come to an end; the only candidate for the chairperson position is current MC member Pedro Sequeira (POR).
The Beach Handball Commission will also see a change of leadership. Current EXEC and former BH commission member Gabriella Horvath (HUN) and Marek Goralczyk (POL), who currently sits on the Nations Board, have been nominated to follow Ole R. Jorstad (NOR), who has been the commission’s chair since 2012.
For the three Executive Committee Member positions, 12 candidates have been nominated. In alphabetical order based on the nominating federation, these 12 candidates are: Francisco V. Blazquez Garcia (ESP), Jerome Fernandez (FRA), Bob Hanning (GER), Gabriella Horvath (current EXEC member; HUN), Eugen Saracini (KOS), Anrijs Brencans (current EXEC member; LAT), Tjark de Lange (NED), Bente Aksnes (NOR), Alexandru Mihai Dedu (ROU), Sergey Shishkarev (RUS), Franjo Bobinac (SLO) and Stefan Lövgren (current EXEC member; SWE).
The Executive Committee is completed by the representatives of the Professional Handball Board, the Women’s Handball Board and the Nations Board. All three will be nominated once these three boards have constituted themselves following the congress.
The elections are scheduled to take on Friday, 23 April, while Saturday is reserved for the decision on several motions as well as the handover of EHF awards to, among others, top nations in European indoor and beach handball from 2018 to 2020.
Furthermore, federations who have organised three or more competitive EHF events will recognised and Honorary Members to the European Handball Federation will be elected.
Dedicated hygiene concept
Delegates from around 40 of the EHF’s member federations are expected to be present in the Austrian capital.
The remaining ones will be able to follow the event – and eventually also vote – remotely, making the EHF Congress 2021 the first of its kind to be held as a hybrid event with physical and remote attendance.
A dedicated hygiene concept has been developed for the congress to minimise the risk of infection with Covid-19 and to comply with the official requirements set by the Austrian health authorities.