The annual congress of the All Europe Taekwondo Federation AETF) was held in the prestigious Lublin Conference Centre as part of the European Taekwon-Do event in Lublin. Issues of constitutional change were discussed, as well as the selection of the next host of the 2025 European Championships.

The important congress of the European Federation took place in the midst of the most important tournaments in European Taekwon-Do, such as the 38th AETF European Taekwon-Do Championships, the 29th European Junior Championships and the first ever European Pre-Junior Championships.

Of the 37 member countries of the AETF, 32 were represented, as well as special guests such as the President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), Grand Master Paul Weiler, former presidents of the AETF and other important personalities. The President of the AETF, Master Leonardo Oros Duek, and the Secretary General, Mr Yavor Tasev, presided over the agenda on behalf of the entire AETF Board of Directors.

After the approval of the board and financial reports, the organisation of the 2025 European Championships was presented, which has been entrusted to the Taekwon-Do Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Taekwon-Do Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina won the bid after convincing the AETF delegates to approve the next European Championships in Sarajevo, thus repeating the successful experience achieved in the city in 2019.

Another important issue was the amendment of the AETF Constitution. AETF vice-president, Master Virginia Dionisi, together with Maciej Bałaziński, AETF legal advisor, presented a summary and arguments of the amendments that will be sent to the member countries.

These amendments will be discussed throughout the year with a view to their adoption at the next AETF Congress in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 2025. The idea of the AETF is to encourage cooperation and discussion in order to achieve the necessary consensus for the adoption of the amendments needed to bring European legislation into line with the ITF.

The Executive Committee of AETF at Lublin. ITF
The Executive Committee of AETF at Lublin. ITF

Master Virginia Dionisi was kind enough to speak to Inside The Games after Congress to explain the important changes that lie ahead. "Since we are a continental federation and the ITF changed its constitution some time ago, we have to adapt to it, follow it and work coherently," she pointed out.

As for the most important change, the native of Misiones, Argentina, who has lived in Belgium for the past 20 years, said: "The idea is to standardise the rules, especially those related to WADA and doping. Although we have implemented them to comply with ITF rules, it is necessary to formalise them and include them in our founding document, the Constitution.

This year we will send the first draft to the 37 member countries for analysis and it will be voted on next year in Sarajevo, along with the creation of the position of Treasurer, which is not currently in our Constitution. We are going to create it so that the Secretary General does not have to do double duty. The idea is to delineate functions, to have clarity and order, as well as the creation of additional committees.

The Vice President of the AETF mentioned that they will "institutionalise what was started because of the Covid-19 lockdown through virtual and hybrid meetings, so that they are not required as the only method, as required by the statutes, the face-to-face meetings. Although we were already doing it, we want to formalise it in the constitution so that we can formally have more practical meetings, but regulated in our constitution."