ETTU | 15 Sep 2023

2023 ETTU Congress in Malmö


On the occasion of the 2023 STUPA European Table Tennis Championships, ETTU held its Annual Congress in the Malmö Arena.

The rich agenda, among other points, included the consideration of the annual general report, reports from the Executive Board members, the Committee Chairs, the Officials and the Secretary General, the financial statements 2022, and the audit report 2022, consideration of propositions and resolutions as well as appointment of Honorary Member and presentation of Badges of Honour.


Acting President Pedro MOURA:”Committed to enhance the growth”

ETTU Acting President Pedro MOURA opened the Congress and welcomed the delagates and the guests.

“As we convene here in the beautiful city of Malmö during the European Team Championships, we reflect upon the trials and triumphs that have shaped the past year for the ETTU. Please let me start to thank our host, the Swedish Table Tennis Association for the excellent delivery of the 2023 European Table Tennis Championships. Huge congratulations and thank you for the way you helping to promote our beloved sport. After Munich Congress decisions were taken to prepare the future of ETTU while protecting to present and is with immense pride that we stand before you, addressing the challenges that defined 2022 and the exciting path that lies ahead in 2023 and beyond.”

Acting President MOURA reminded Congress of previous year.

“The year 2022 brought its share of difficulties that tested our resilience as a community. After facing an unprecedented global pandemic that reshaped every facet of our lives, a war started in Europe. Despite these challenges, the ETTU stood steadfast in its commitment to the sport and its passionate players. Our full 2022 program went ahead and, most important, ETTU prepared its first Strategic Plan, which was already presented in 2023, followed by an Implementation Plan that will define the future of our organization. ETTU has been diligently working, also together with ITTF and its professional structure, towards constructing a brighter future for our sport.”

The year 2023 marks a turning point, said Acting President MOURA and explained:

“We are building stronger partnerships, embracing technology to connect with enthusiasts in Europe, and introduced measures to ensure the continuing development of the European table tennis. Looking ahead to 2024, our vision remains clear and unchanged - table tennis first! We will keep committed to enhance the growth of our sport within our Member Associations. Our objectives are very clear: to promote the sport; to deliver state-of-the-art events and to contribute to the development of our young players. We are dedicated to creating an environment where athletes can thrive, coaches can innovate, and fans can revel in the excitement of the game.”


Mayor Katrin STJÄRNFELDT JAMMEH:” Diversity is one of Malmö's key assets”

The Mayor of the City of Malmö, Katrin STJÄRNFELDT JAMMEH, welcomed the guests.

"It has been my great pleasure to welcome you to Malmö today. Malmö is a global, young, and fast-growing city, one of the fastest-growing cities in Sweden at the moment. We have 360,000 inhabitants, and we have roots all over the world. We have representatives from 183 nations within our city, and we are living closely together in a small amount of square meters. We have a really young population - 40 percent are younger than 29. Our strategic location, situated close to Copenhagen airport and Copenhagen, and our support in the west of the continent have made Malmö a hub for travelers and events like this. We are very happy to host the European Championships and the Congress.

Mayor STJÄRNFELDT JAMMEH also reminded the Congress that Malmö will host the Eurovision Song Contest next year.

"We really love it when the world comes to our city. Diversity is one of Malmö's key assets. It requires that we constantly work to ensure sustainable and inclusive development in our city. We take pride in our commitment to creating a greener and more sustainable city, both economically and environmentally."

Malmö has been the host of the European Championships in 1964.

"It has been a while. I am delighted we are the host tfor he Championships again, and I look forward to hosting the European Youth Championships next year. Due to our young population, we work hard to ensure that children and youth are active, both for social and health reasons."

Mayor STJÄRNFELDT JAMMEH also praised the ETTU's initiative and the launch of the crowdfunding campaign to support Ukrainian athletes.


ITTF President Petra SÖRLING:”I am truly at home”

ITTF President Petra SÖRLING welcomed guests and invited the ETTU delegates to approach and discuss future cooperation during the Championships.

"It is always a pleasure to be here at the ETTU Congress. As an ITTF President, I always feel like I am at home, but now I am truly at home. This is my hometown, and I am extremely proud to have you all here. Last year, when we met at the Congress in Munich, I was standing in front of you, asking to make it possible to organize the World Championships in Changdo. I would like to applaud you because you made it happen," said President SÖRLING and thanked ETTU Members for their active participation in the ITTF AGM and at the ITTF Summit. "ITTF is working hard right now to have a full calendar in 2024 and to secure the finances in this challenging years."


STTA President Dennis LINDHAL:”Our dream has come true”

The President of the Swedish Association, Dennis LINDHAL, also addressed the Congress delegates.

"It is an outstanding pleasure to stand in front of you and welcome you to the third-largest city in Sweden. The European Championships is one of the finest and most prestigious events that you can host. I would like to thank the Executive Board for trusting us, and I would like to express gratitude to the Municipality of Malmö and our partners who made it possible with your support. I extend my deepest gratitude to volunteers. Ever since we were given the chance to organize the Championships, we have been dreaming of delivering the best possible event for you, our guests and family. Now our dream has come true, and I hope you will have an amazing time in Sweden," stated President of the Swedish Association, LINDHAL.


ETTU Deputy Secretary General Galia DVORAK: Epansion of youth events

ETTU Deputy Secretary General Galia DVORAK updated the Congress on new activities in 2023 and plans for 2024. Deputy Secretary General DVORAK highlighted the Youth series and the Under 13 European Championships. She also talked about the upcoming Virtual Table Tennis Challenge and the Champions League Final Four.

DVORAK's presentation included a report about the exposure of ETTU events in the media. Additionally, she discussed development activities, including the Umpire and Referee's Committees and gender equality.

On the subject of Governance, she highlighted sustainability and international auditing of ETTU accounts.


18 teams from Malmö qualifies directly for net EC

Acting Deputy President Heike AHLERT presented the propositions for future events.

The new structure of the European Championships Team Event will be as follows:

The European Championships will now be held within a 10-month period in the year on two specific dates.

The 1st and 2nd Stages will be replaced by the European Championships Stage 1 Event, which will take place over 5-6 days in January or February of the same year as the Final Stage (e.g., Jan/Feb 2025).

All teams that wish to participate in the European Championships and have not directly qualified for the Final Stage must start in Stage 1. They will compete for 6 (5) available places in the European Championships Final Stage.

The Final Stage will remain as a 7-8 day event held in October of a given year (e.g., Oct. 2025), with 24 teams..

The 18 best teams from the Final Stage will qualify directly for the Final Stage of the next EC Teams. These will be the 16 teams that qualified for the round of 16 of the Final Stage, plus 2 from the remaining 8 teams. For the Final Stage 2025, these 2 will be the 2 highest ranked teams in the October 2023 World Team Rankings. Starting 2025, the remaining 8 teams will play in play-off matches for the 2 remaining spots in the next Final Stage.

If the host nation is not among these 18 teams, they will also qualify directly for the Final Stage, making it a total of 19 teams in the Final Stage. In this case 5 instead of 6 teams in Stage 1 will qualify for the Final Stage.

For the European Under 21 Championships the host association gets 2 men and 2 women spots guaranteed.

One of the decisions affects the TOP 16 Cup - the winner of the previous TOP 16 Cup will automatically qualify for the next TOP 16 Cup.

The Table Tennis Champions League will be renamed to European Champions League Men.


Honorary Member and Badges of Honours

Upon to Executive Board's proposal, the ETTU Congress appointed Mr Thomas WEIKERT as ETTU Honorary Member.

ETTU Executive Board presented the Badges of honours to: Ms Tamara BOROŠ and Mr Zoran PRIMORAC of Croatia, Mr Zbynek ŠPACEK of Czechia, Ms Sirje LUBI of Estonia, Mr Bruno ABRAHAM of France, Mr Michael GEIGER of Germany Mr Egils PURIŅŠ of Latvia, Mr Martin OSTERMANN of Luxembourg, Mr Danijel ŠARLAH of Slovenia, Mr Dariusz SZUMACHER of Poland.

Next Congress is scheduled for October 17th 2024 in Linz, Austria.