WHAT WE DO

European Aquatics is the governing body for aquatic sports representing Europe – namely artistic swimming, diving, high diving, swimming, open water swimming, water polo and masters – and is affiliated to World Aquatics.

Originally called the ‘Ligue Européenne de Natation’ or ‘European Swimming League’ in English, the organisation was founded in 1927 in Bologna, Italy and has been based in Nyon, Switzerland since 2015. 

The name change to European Aquatics was approved by Congress on 16 September 2023.

There are 52 national aquatic federations affiliated as members, with this number including Israel, which for Olympic-sport purposes is grouped with Europe.

As an organisation, European Aquatics promotes inclusivity and accessibility by creating programmes which ensuring there are the coaches, officials, and infrastructure in place to ensure an increasing number of people feel welcomed, encouraged and able to participate in our sports.

European Aquatics strongly believes aquatics to be both a sport and a recreational activity that all members of society should have access to, regardless of their age, gender, disability, or ethnicity.

The organisation is also committed to prevent drowning by promoting crucial life-saving skills in water, as well as a new ‘Learn to Swim’ programme, which debuted via a multi-nation collaboration conference in 2023.

European Aquatics governance is overseen by the Congress (of affiliated members) who elect a President and Bureau (board). They are responsible for setting strategy, policy and managing the work of the Office and staff. An Athletes Committee was established in 2022 to ensure athletes have a voice during key decision-making and are empowered both through existing structures, as well as new platforms.

The Bureau is composed of Members from different Federations who are supported by elected specialist technical committees and appointed working groups.

European Aquatics governance is overseen by the Congress of affiliated members who elect a President and Bureau (board) who are responsible for setting strategy and policy and managing the work of the Office and staff. An Athletes’ Committee was established in 2022 so athletes have a voice and are empowered both through existing structures and new platforms.

The Bureau is composed of Members from different Federations who are supported by elected specialist technical committees and appointed working groups. European Aquatics oversees the various disciplines of aquatic sports in Europe which are artistic swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, swimming, and water polo.

European Aquatics aims to be collaborative, inclusive, and united and is aligned closely with the world governing body World Aquatics, for the benefit of the sport globally serving Member Federations, athletes, coaches, officials, and communities. In the new European Aquatics Strategic Plan for 2024-2030, European Aquatics aims to be recognized as a leading, inclusive and diverse Continental Association that develops aquatics in innovative and sustainable ways, promotes Aquatic Social Responsibilities and supports athletes and Member Federations to make Aquatics the most competitive and engaging sport. 

The 4 pillars of the plan are:

1 Promoting all Aquatic Disciplines

2 Our Sport: Making it Accessible for All

3 Making European Aquatics Fit for the Future

4 Integrity: Transparency and Good Governance

EVENTS

European Aquatics organises two major championships: 

• European Aquatics Championships; which involve four of the five disciplines (swimming, open water swimming, diving and artistic swimming). The first-ever championships – which featured swimming, diving, and water polo – debuted in 1926, making it one of longest-running major sport events in the world.

• European Water Polo Championships (stand-alone event since 1999) held every two years in even numbered years.

European Aquatics is also responsible for a host of other high-profile competitions, including:

• European Masters Swimming Championships is also held every second year, in all five disciplines.

• Three single discipline championships – short course (25m) swimming (every second year, in odd years, in November or December), as well as diving and artistic swimming (every second year, in odd years).

• An Open Water Cup Series, with multiple legs taking place across the continent.

European Aquatics also delivers a host of annual continental junior championships:

• Swimming: European Junior Swimming Championships,

• Diving: European Junior Diving Championships,

• High Diving: European Junior Diving Championships,

• Water Polo: U19, U17, U15 European Water Polo Championship,

• Artistic Swimming: European Junior Artistic Swimming Championships,

• Open Water: European Junior Open Water Championships.

European Aquatics also organises a host of major world-leading water polo club competitions, which take place over eight months of the year. 

• Male athletes can play in the prestigious Champions League men (first held in 1963), the Euro Cup men and (since autumn 2022) the Challenger Cup men.

• Female athletes can play in the Champions League Women (formerly known as the Euro League prior to 2022) and in the Euro Cup Women.

• The seasons culminate in respective ‘final four’ showdowns to determine the podium finishers.

• Winners (both men and women) of the respective cups in the same season will qualify for and later play, in the European Super Cup.