Congress 2023 Funchal Minutes

Summary of Minutes

2023 European Aquatics Congress

Funchal (POR) 16 September 2023



The annual LEN Congress took place on the 16 September 2023 in Funchal, Madeira. 43 Member Federations were present to approved the proposal to change LEN’s name to European Aquatics, to approve a new Constitution and to establish an independent Integrity Unit. Congress delegates were presented with a number of activity reports and updates, as well as plans for a new Strategic Plan for the period 2024-2030. Here are the highlights:


Speech of World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam

The President of World Aquatics, Captain Husain Al Musallam was present in Funchal and made a speech to Congress delegates. He mentioned the difficult times the sport has faced due to the Covid pandemic and the very hard work done to adjust and reshuffle the calendar accordingly. He briefly updated the delegates on the success of recently organised events and satisfaction with progress of those to come .

 He underlined that after Singapore 2025 the world of Aquatics will return to a standard calendar of events. During the difficult period from 2020-2021 the entire Aquatic family worked together with the common objective of moving Aquatics forward and this effort has been rewarded, with very strong bids now arriving for the key events till 2031. He expressed his pride that our sport is now seen as the leading sport in the Olympics, that AQUA is leader in development and in providing scholarships to athletes, and that all this has been possible only because the Aquatics family is both strong and united.



Welcome speech of European Aquatics President Antonio Silva

President Silva thanked the local authorities of Madeira for their support as well as all Federations and delegates present.

He touched on some important items that the new leadership is focusing on: governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), LEN rebranding, strong educational programmes.

He concluded his welcome speech stressing that the reason for being of the LEN leadership is to serve and support its Federations, working together towards common ambitious goals.



Activity Report Approved

A video summarising the activities of LEN covering the period from October 2022 to September 2023 is shown.


The LEN President then introduced the Activity Report and went through the key highlights of the various activities of LEN.

  • Constant efforts have been made to have regular meetings:
  • 7 Bureau meetings, 
  • 12 meetings of the LEN Executive 
  • Weekly meetings of LEN Officers 
  • Key Information available  via email and shared on digital platforms. 
  • Established LEN integrity road map.
  • Organised Energy saving webinar to tackle the energetics crisis.
  • Created the LEN Diversity and Inclusion commission. 
  • Partnered with Gloria Sports Arena.
  • Organising Learn to Swim Conference.
  • Organised series of LEN coaching clinics.
  • Introduced accreditation system for LEN approved laboratories and training centres.
  • Supported EPSI Annual Conference for European sport innovation.
  • Created new format for Masters Short Course swimming
  • Created a LEN water polo strategy for growth and new rankings system.
  • Met water polo representatives during LEN Champions League Final 8.
  • Broadcast first ever livestreams of LEN water polo competition draws.
  • Organised first ever U23 Swimming Championships in Dublin.

To conclude, the President summarised the progress of the Action Plan set up in 2022.

  • 24 strategic objectives were set
  • 12 were achieved, 12 are ongoing.
  • New objectives/priorities have been established. 

The Activity Report, including full details of the Action Plan, which had been previously circulated, was then unanimously approved.

Financial Report for 2022 Approved

LEN Treasurer, Andida Bouma (NED), took the floor to provide some further explanation on the 2022 financials. The complete Financial Report 2022 was previously shared with all Federations. She underlined fact that the financial year 2022 closed with a break-even result, as anticipated during the LEN Congress 2022 in Antalya (TUR).

She informed the delegates that an external audit had been carried out, and that the Auditors issued an unqualified audit opinion (clean report).

In terms of liquid reserves, the Treasurer confirmed the healthy position of the organisation, with reserves remaining stable at approx. 5 million euros since 2017. The treasurer then introduced Simon Renno (EST), LEN Audit Committee, who confirmed that the financial report is similar to the draft presented in Antalya.

Congress then approved the Financial and Audit reports for 2022.


Financial Outlook 2023-2024

The Treasurer explained that the financial year 2023 was expected to close at break even. This would be a different scenario to the large surplus that was anticipated in October 2022. The main reason for this was a delay in receiving expected income from major future events which had not been allocated yet

Nonetheless, it was forecast that the year 2024 would end with a significant surplus (since LEN will by then have allocated future major events for the period 2025-2028). This would permit LEN to regain the path of financial growth and investment..


Constitutional Amendments

General Secretary Noam Zwi took the floor to provide perspective on the proposed Constitutional changes, which were needed primarily to align with the new AQUA Constitution. He also provided insight into the name change from LEN – European Aquatics to European Aquatics and on the introduction in the Constitution of the European Aquatics Integrity Code.

It is clarified that there is no obligation for any National Federation to change its name. The proposed changes, shared with all Federations one month in advance of the Congress were voted on. All changes are approved, as presented. All votes are in favour, except for one abstention from Luxemburg.

Integrity Code

Bureau Member Pia Johansen took the floor to explain the role, scope, and objectives of the newly drafted European Aquatics Integrity Code, which was previously shared with all Federations, and which mirrors the AQUA Code.

She described the structure of the Integrity Unit, comprised of an Integrity Council, Investigation Unit and an Adjudicatory Body. The introduction of the Integrity Code and creation of the Integrity Unit was a new chapter in European Aquatics, helping the organisation to achieve the highest standards in transparency, good governance and fairness.

Vice-President Christer Magnusson informed delegates that the Integrity Code had been included in the newly approved Constitution, and that from now on, Congress may assess and amend the Integrity Code. The General Secretary also clarified that the new Integrity Code will come into force only on the date of the next Congress in 2024, when the Integrity Unit will be elected.

Congress approved the new European Aquatics Integrity Code.

Confirmation of new Bureau Roles and Members

1st Vice President Josip Varvodic (CRO), requested that Congress delegates confirm new members to the LEN Bureau.

Following the resignation of Mr. Tomas Kucinskas (LTU) from the positions of LEN Treasurer and LEN Bureau Member, as per article C 11.2.6, the LEN Bureau filled these vacancies, and those created as a consequence, as indicated below.

Andida Bouma (NED) appointed as Treasurer.

Noam Zwi (ISR) appointed as General Secretary.

Arno Pajek (AUT) appointed as Vice President.

Norbert Madaras (HUN) appointed as Bureau Member.

Congress approved and confirmed these new positions/members.

Calendar of Events for 2024

The LEN Executive Director, Patrice Coste (FRA), took the floor to explain the process that led to the early allocation of the 2024 events, and how this process was a clear and transparent one.

He then gives the floor to the President for additional perspective on the still unallocated 2024 European Aquatics Championships. The President explained that advanced discussions were taking place with a couple of potential hosts regarding 2024 and that this would be announced within the coming weeks. It was also confirmed that the European Water Polo Championships 2026 would take place in Belgarde (SRB).

The Executive Director then informed the Congress that work on the 2025 calendar has already begun with the objective of announcing a complete calendar for 2025 by June 2024.

New Strategic Plan 2024-2030

The General Secretary and the Treasurer informed delegates that LEN had embarked on a collaboration with Deloitte Hungary Sports Group. In support of a new Strategic Plan aimed at developing and expanding Aquatics in Europe over the coming years. The Deloitte team were introduced to the Congress delegates and two working sessions were immediately set up to allow federation representatives to participate and contribute to the development of the future strategy of European Aquatics while they were in Funchal.

Two Congresses in 2024

In closing the Congress, the President Silva informed delegates that there would be two Congresses in 2024. The first Elective Congress will be held in Athens (GRE) on Saturday 27 January 2024 to elect the new Bureau, the Continental representative to the AQUA Bureau and the members of the new Integrity Unit.

Another ordinary Congress would be held later in the year, after the Olympic Games in Paris, most likely in September/October 2024.


Participants at Congress – Funchal POR, 16 September 2023


Antonio Silva (POR) President

Noam Zwi (ISR)   General Secretary

Andida Bouma (NED) Treasurer

Josip Varvodic (CRO) First Vice President

Marco Troll (GER) Vice-President

Christen Magnusson (SWE) Vice President

Gilles Sezionale (FRA)   Vice President

Erkan Yalcin (TUR)   Vice President

Kyriakos Giannopoulos (GRE) Vice President

Arno Pajek (AUT) Vice President

Graeme Marchbank (GBR) Member

Petr Ryska (CZE) Member

Ewen Cameron (SUI)   Member

Fernando Carpena (ESP)   Member

Rokur I Jakupsstovu (FAR) Member

Pia Johansen (DEN) Member

Liam Tancock (GBR) Member

Milos Mracevic (MNE) Member

Norbert Madaras (HUN) Member

Vanja Udovicic (SER) Member

Sandor Wladar (HUN) Member

Sami Wahlman (FIN) Member

Erik Van Heijningen (NED) Member

Sarah Keane (IRL) Member

Bartolo Consolo (SUI) Honotrary Life President



Ulla Lucenius (FIN) TASC Chair

Angel Moliner (ESP) TWPC Chair

Hordur Oddfridarson (ISL) TMaC Chair

Anna Sorokina (UKR) TDC Vice-Chair

Michael Geissbuehler (SUI) THDC Chair

Andrea Prayer (ITA) TOWSC Chair

Simon Renno (EST) Audit Committee

Naama Constantini (ISR) Medical

Liam Tancock (GBR) Athlete Committee Chair (also Bureau Member)

Sven Egil Folvik (NOR) Honorary Member

Kurt Mikkola (SWE) Honorary Member

Francis Luyce (FRA) Honorary Member

Jerzy Kowalski (POL) Honorary Member

Simon Rothwell (GBR) Honorary Member

Manfred Vater (GER) Honorary Member

Stefania Tudini (ITA) Honorary Member


Gary Stoops (GBR) TSC Member

Klaus Dibiasi (ITA) TDC Secretary

Marie Kavaklioglu (FRA) TASC Secretary

Grete Kugler (AUT) TMaC Secretary

Volkan Unutmaz TOWSC Secretary

Jon Rudd (IRL) Coaches Committee Co-Chair

Tiago Barbosa (POR) Education & Coaching Commission

Aldo Costa (POR) Learn to Swim Commission

Boro Strumbelj (SLO) Learn to Swim Commission


Patrice Coste (FRA) Executive Director

Gianni Minervini (ITA) Deputy Executive Director

Apostolos Tsagkarakis (GRE) Aquatics Director

Renato Zivkovic (CRO) Water Polo Director

Aida Sehic (CRO) Water Polo Manager

Farouk Ben-Jeddi (FRA) Sports Manager

Anna Serova (RUS) Sports Assistant

Bradwick Gampfer (SUI) Accounting & Administrative Assistant

Nick Davies (GBR) Communications and Media Director

Andreas Georgiou (GBR) Media Team

LOC / FPN:  

Joau Campos, Barbara Oliveira, Susana Castro, André Rodrigues, Teresa Maria Almeida Dias


World Aquatics: Husain Al Musallam (AQUA President)

Ahmad Al Asabi (assistant to the President)

Eurovision: Andreas Aristodemou

Fluidra: Palmira Medina, Francesc Garcia, Jorge Fanlo

Deloitte HUN: Csilla Gerscak, Gabor Hosszu, Adam Fodor, Istvan Fazekas

Malmsten: Gustav Eriksson, Joowon Lee

Kap7: Bradley Schumacher

Swiss Timing: Alain Zobrist, Ivan Khodabakhsh, Laszlo Szakadati

Microplus: Mauro Cedrani

Com’Over David Rouger

Com’Over Lucie Lapierre

WP Australia: Donald Cameron


Laszlo Szogi (HUN)

Szabolcs birkas-Kovats (HUN)

Andras Becsky (HUN)

Aisling Mckeever (IRL)

Nemanja Marijan (SRB)

Milena Neskovic (SRB)

Avelino Silva (Presidente da Associação de Natação da Madeira)



Keida Ushtelenka

Luljeta Ndoja


Joan Clotet



Hovsep Mesropyan



Julia Powischer

Walter Bär


Kim Van Malderen



Slobodan Grahovac



Luboslav Bonev



Ivan Milakovic



Alexandros Christoforou

Petros Arestis


Jakub Tesarek



Allan Nyhus



Antonio Ollé



Simon Renno



Ville Riekkinen



Laurent Ciubini

Mr. Perez


Johan Martin Thorsteinsson



Keith Ashton



Kai Morgenroth

Milos Sekulic


Stefanos Avgouleas






Mary McMorrow

Jon Rudd


Björn Sigurðsson



Yitzhak Malul

 Miki Halika


Fabio Conti



Aivars Platonovs



Vasil Velkov



Saulius Binevicius

Justas Kalinauskas


Marco Stacchiotti



Serghei Golovcenco

Olga Turnaeva


Karl Izzo



Radovan Mililic



Guillaume Dazun



Hayke Veldman

Aschwin Lankwarden


Cato Bratbakk



Mariusz Siembida



Rui Sardinha



Viktor Jelenic

Boris Drobac


Matjaz Standeker



Jonas Kissling



Ivana Lange

Ivan Šulek


Pia Zatterstrom

Bert-Ola Eriksson


Selim Ferit Kubat



Andrii Vlaskov