October 4 - A groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was today signed between the European Paralympic Committee (EPC) and the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in Dublin.
The signing was the highlight of the opening day of the 10th European Paralympic Committee General Assembly and Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Northwood in Dublin.
The new MoU between the EPC and the EOC was signed by John Petersson and Pat Hickey, the respective Presidents of the two continental governing bodies, in the presence of Sir Philip Craven, head of the International Paralympic Committee.
Hickey, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee's ruling Executive Board, reasserted the EOC's commitment to Paralympics, youth participation and education, gender equality and social inclusion via sport.
More than 100 delegates from 40 countries are attending the biennial General Assembly and Conference, which is being held in Ireland for the first time since 2001 when it took place in Malahide.
"A General Assembly and Conference is an important event for all of us," said Petersson, a former swimmer who, representing Denmark, won 15 medals in the Paralympics between 1984 and 2000.
"For the EPC Executive Board, it is important to have feedback on the activities done in the previous two years and to have support for the future direction of EPC and its activities.
"For the members it is crucial to discuss, evaluate, inspire and get experiences from others and use the time to share knowledge and enjoy the time together with members from the Paralympic Family."
James Gradwell, Paralympics Ireland President, claimed that hosting the event was another sign of the country's commitment to developing disability sport.
"As one of the few NPCs (National Paralympic Committees) to have participated in every Summer Paralympic Games, we were particularly delighted to see the enormous growth of the Paralympic movement since those humble beginnings in 1960, to the incredible success of the London 2012 Games," he said.
"London 2012 was our greatest ever performance and we look forward to continuing to develop and nurture our wonderful movement with our colleagues in Europe and around the world."
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May 2013: Dublin to host 2013 European Paralympic Committee General Assembly and Conference