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UEPS kongressen - officielt referat

Torsdag d. 24. maj 2007

2007 UEPS CONGRESS

Minutes of the 2007 UEPS Congress in Bregenz, May 17

ROLL CALL:
Executive Committee:
Present: President: Jerzy Jakobsche (Poland); Vice-president Jura Ozmec (Croatia); Secretary-General: Morley Myers (Great Britain), Treasurer: Yannis Daras (Greece). Members: Murat Agca (Turkey), Rik Lamoral Belgium); Jimmy Magee (Ireland), Guenter Pfeistlinger (Austria), Lev Rossoshik (Russia), Jean-Paul Savart (France), Sven Sommer (Estonia), Hans-Joachim Zwingmann (Germany).

Delegates from: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro (observer), Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.
Thirty-nine member associations present.
Montenegro was provisionally accepted as a member pending official recognition by the AIPS Congress.

President Jerzy Jakobsche formally opened the Congress.

The minutes of the 2006 UEPS Congress were approved without comment.


OFFICERS’ REPORTS:

PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Jerzy Jakobsche

Since April 8, 2006, I have had a honour of leading the European Association of Sports Journalists (UEPS) – the largest section of the Associations of Sports Journalists (AIPS). My duty is to continue the work of great UEPS presidents Frank Taylor, Elie Sporidis, Gianni Merlo and Leif Nilsson.
During this first working year, some important steps have been taken by our Council in order to update our Association. First of all, the First UEPS Summer School in Athens and Ancient Olympia. Secondly, the 30th Anniversary UEPS Magazine. Both were finalised by great support of our Greek friends, especially by Yannis Daras and different sponsors.
Co-operation between media associations, National Olympic Committees, Ministers of Sport, International Sports Federations and the European Union
should result in an increased number of seminars aimed at young journalists.
September 15-17, I met in Warsaw and Krakow members of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees headed by EOC president Patrick Hickey.

In December, 2006, together with secretary general Morley Myers and treasurer Yannis Daras, I spent two days in Brussels for the EOC General Assembly. The event gave us the opportunity to speak with several national Olympic committee presidents and secretaries general.
During the visit, our group was invited to meet Greek European Parliamentarian Manolis Mavromatis, a former sports journalist.
We also discussed our UEPS activities with Mr Jan Figel, member of the
European Commission in charge of Education, Training, Culture and Youth.
Following our Brussels visit, I wrote to Mr. Figel about our Summer School
in Ancient Olympia . He was very interested in our event, but explained it
was too late apply for any funding in 2007. He said we would have the chance
to receive financial support from the European Union for our future
activities.
On the last day of our stay in Brussels we were guests of FISU.
As I wrote in my election programme, we have restored the tradition of
seminars for young journalists in Ancient Olympia . Following up, with the
help our Greek colleagues, we have realised our task with the first UEPS
Summer School for Young Journalists in Athens and Ancient Olympia from
May 24 to May 31.
Over 100 journalists from over 30 countries have accepted our invitation to
participate in what we hope will become an annual event.
The UEPS Board (president, secretary general and treasurer) discussed the
Project in separate meetings with Greek Deputy Minister of Culture with
Responsibilities for Sport Mr. Georgios Orphanos, General Secretary for the
Olympic Utilisation Mr. Spyros Cladas and the President of the Greek
Olympic Committee Mr. Minos Kiriakou.
I would like to take the opportunity to express my great thanks to our Greek
friends who helped our treasurer Mr Yannis Daras to organise the seminar. I
also thank Mr Georgios Orphanos, deputy minister of culture; minister of
sports, Mrs Fani Palli Petralia; minister of tourism, representative of the
ministry of Press and communications Mr Nikolaos Klamaris, professor of
Law University of Athens, law advisor of prime minister of Greece; Elie
Sporidis former UEPS President, Dimitrios Tsalapatis president of POESY,
Mr. Panos Sombolos, president of the Greek Journalists Union, Mr. Paylos
Gerakaris, president of the Greek Sports Journalists Association, Mr. Nikos
Kiaos, president of EDOEAP, Mr. Dimitrios Aidonis, mayor of Olympia, Mr.
Dimitrios Maravelias, mayor of Chaidari and Mr. Vassiliki Kolia secretary
general of New Generation and naturally our AIPS President Gianni Merlo.
Traditionally I have supervised the UEPS poll for best European Sportsman
and Sportswoman of the year. Since 2003, the annual poll for the best
sportsman was named the Frank Taylor Trophy in honour of the former
AIPS and UEPS president, while the women’s award has been named the
Evgent Bergant Trophy in memory of the former UEPS vice president.
Tennis stars Roger Federer from Switzerland and Justine Henin-Hardenne
from Belgium have been voted European Sportsman and Sportswoman of the
Year 2006.
Twenty-five-year-old Federer finished well ahead of the field in the men’s
poll with 76 points. Football world cup winner Fabio Canavaro of Italy was
Second with 22, while joint third place was shared by Torino Olympic triple
gold Olympic biathlon medallist Michael Greis of Germany and Spanish
Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso.
Among the women, 24-year old Henin-Hardenne took first place with 28
points, one point ahead of European swimming champion Laure Maunadou
of France. Third place with 21 points was Russian polevaulter Yelena
Isinbayeva the 2005 world champion and 2006 European champion.
The national sports writers associations in the poll were: Albania, Austria,
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary,
Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,
Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
In 2002, UEPS established an unique network of football delegates in Europe.
Our idea was to provide an interactive channel of communication between
all European AIPS card holders. This network enables to contact the
nominated delegates for valuable information. This could include
accommodation, accreditation, contact numbers and even team news relating
to the country the football delegate serves.
We have not received replies from all UEPS national sport writers
associations. We must continue this idea.
The importance of this link was underlined in March, 2007, when I was
informed that our Turkish colleagues had problems concerning the number
of accreditations they would receive for the May 24 international between
Greece and Turkey.
Together with Yannis Daras a letter was sent to Mr Pavlos Gerakaris,
president of the Greek Football Federation, who resolved the situation.
I would like to express my highest regards to him for his quick and effective
support. Both the Greek and Turkish national sports writers associations
have built a very strong and good relationship and on this basis they can
work together to solve problems.
In November 2006, the Sportswriters Association in Finland celebrated its
75th anniversary. To mark the occasion, I sent a letter of congratulations to
Mr. Esa Maaranen with best wishes and a lot of success in sport and private
life to Finnish sports journalists.
During the AIPS Executive Committee meeting in Milano on behalf of UEPS,
“Gazzetta dello Sport” was presented with commemorative plaque to mark
the 110th anniversary of its foundation. A similar plaque went to the French
sports newspaper, “L’Equipe,” which is 50 years younger.
Since January 26, 2007, UEFA has a new president, Michel Platini.
On behalf of the UEPS Executive Committee, I wrote him a letter of
congratulations.
UEPS, which represents the European sports journalists, has always enjoyed
close co-operation with UEFA. My letter expressed the hope this relationship
will continue through our joint enterprises, such as the successful series of
seminars. Recent developments raises the possibility of organising such a
seminar this year in Moldova .
Before our EC meeting in Istanbul ,I was invited to Chisinau by the
Moldovian Sports Writers Association headed by Mr. Nicolae Buceatchi. Our
Moldovian colleagues have had a problem since 2002 with the existence of
two sports writers associations. On April 10, 2007, the members of the second
association, which had formed in 2001, merged with the old one following my
speech for unity. Our Moldavian colleagues agreed that in the future April 10
will be celebrated as the Day of Moldovian Sports Journalists. The newly
-elected president is Vladimir M. Kolesnitschenko, while former president
Nicolae Buceatchi will serve as 1st vice president.

Jerzy Jakobsche
UEPS President

The President’s report was approved after Danish delegate Steen Ankerdal
referred to the UEPS poll pointing out that his Association had decided several years ago not to participate in the voting because of instances of doping among athletes.


SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REPORT – Morley Myers

The first year of the new Executive Committee has been a very active one with three full Committee meetings – Hanover (September 28-29), Warsaw (January 21-22) and Istanbul (April 12-13). Additionally, the UEPS Board – president Jerzy Jakobsche, treasurer Yannis Daras and myself – had further meetings in Athens (November 14-15) and Brussels (December 6-7).
The heavy schedule was necessary in order to implement several programme initiatives designed to benefit our members and raise the profile of the UEPS brand image as being the recognised sports journalists organisation to interface with the major European bodies such as the EOC, UEFA and the EU.
Thanks to our initiatives, I am glad to say we managed to achieve our target in
establishing ourselves as natural working partners for these important
organisations.
At this juncture, I should point out that some people think we should hide our light under the AIPS mantle - not have our own website or magazine and not deal directly with UEFA. But I believe UEPS is autonomous, mandated by the UEPS Congress to deal with European Associations and European issues. The accessories, such as magazine and website, are necessary to promote ourselves.
On a personal front, I met newly-elected EOC President Patrick Hickey at the EOC Extraordinary Congress in Rome on July 29 and presented him with a proposal for joint UEPS-EOC seminars which would run on similar lines to the existing UEPS-UEFA programme.
With EOC support, UEPS could seek funding from either the European Commission in Brussels or the European Council in Strasbourg.
President Hickey was very enthusiastic about the project and suggested further talks at the EOC Congress in Brussels (Dec.7-9).
This proposal was approved at our November meeting in Hanover where the Committee also discussed the publication of our 30th Anniversary Magazine which had already been given the go-ahead under the supervision of treasurer Yannis Daras.
The Committee also accepted a proposal from the treasurer to stage a Summer School for Young Sports Journalists in Athens and Ancient Olympia from May 24 to May 31. The project could also be integrated with our UEPS-UEFA seminars.
Following up on the Summer School initiative, the Board visited Athens on November 16 and 17 and had separate meetings with Greek Minister of Sport Georgios Orphanos, General Secretary of Culture Spyros Kladas and Hellenic Olympic Committee President Minos Kyriakou. They all pledged their support and welcomed the UEPS initative in what could become an annual event.
The Board, accompanied by Belgian Committee member Rik Lamoral, had equal success with their December visit to Brussels on the occasion of the general assembly of the European Olympic Committees.
EOC President Hickey reaffirmed his full support and allowed us to distribute our Summer School brochures to all the EOC delegates.
EU Commissioner Jan Figel was one of the speakers at the Assembly, providing us with an opportunity to describe UEPS and its functions with a view to receiving funding.
Outside the EOC, the Board also visited the European Parliament for a meeting with Mr. Manolis Mavromattis, a representative from the Greek PPE Party and a former journalist.
This proved to be another productive encounter with a promise of support from Mr. Mavromatis, who said he would try to interest his European parliamentarians on our behalf.
The magazine and summer school dominated discussions at our meeting in Warsaw and Istanbul.
The news was good on both fronts.
The number of pages in our magazine had been increased to 112 because of the good response for articles, while at the latest count more than 100 journalists from 30 national associations had registered for the Summer School.
There had also been further exchanges with UEFA following the election of Michel Platini as president and the appointment of David Taylor as general secretary. Discussions were continuing with a view to holding a meeting in Nyon regarding future UEPS-UEFA seminars.
At the request of AIPS President Gianni Merlo, I wrote a letter to FINA vice-president Sam Ramsamy regarding exorbitant charges for media covering the world swimming championships in Melbourne.
This matter was raised at our UEPS meeting in Istanbul where the Committee agreed I should discuss the situation with the AIPS President at Sport Accord in Beijing where we could raise the issue with Dennis Oswald, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).
Unfortunately Mr. Oswald was pre-occupied with other meetings in Beijing and it was not possible to pursue the matter there. Although UEPS is only too ready to give full support, this is really the responsibility of AIPS. The problem of high media costs at sports events is a growing concern and is something which AIPS should take up with the IOC and International Sports Federations. AIPS has a responsibility to its members and it would be neglectful of its duties to stand quietly aside while the media is being exploited.
Media organisations are facing inflated accommodation prices and higher charges in the work place. There is a real danger of being priced-out of covering events. This would result in less publicity for the international federations and ultimately less money from sponsors and advertisers.
It is necessary for AIPS to make the Federations aware of the danger. Success in this endeavour would show sports journalists just why they should join AIPS.
Before ending my report, I wish to congratulate our colleague Yannis Daras for work he has done in connection with our anniversary magazine and the Summer School.
I would also like to thank the warm hospitality shown by our German, Polish and Turkish friends in hosting our committee meetings. It was also good to see our former UEPS Committee member Esat Yilmaer playing such a pivotal role as president of the Turkish Association.
Last of all, I wish to thank my colleagues on the current UEPS Executive Committee for their hard work.
Morley Myers
UEPS Secretary-General

The report was approved.

TREASURER’S REPORT – Yannis Daras

Dear friends and colleagues,

Our aim this year should be not only the reduction of expenses, a goal which we have succeeded during 2006, but to increase our income too. The expenses have already been decreased enough thanks to our Board’s logistical activities and our changed operational site, because we have lower costs in Greece than in Luxembourg.
During 2006, we managed to cut the expenses about 32 percent and to increase our interest about 400 percent. But our aim should be to increase our bank balance.
Please bear in mind, that during 2006 we organised an extra UEPS Congress in Dublin with more expenses and meetings in London, Dublin, Doha, Hanover, Athens, and Brussels.
The UEPS treasury started on January 1 with a balance of 36,673.94 Euros. In the second part of 2006 under the new treasury administration, the balance was 29,043.72 Euros (as on 13.07.2006). From 29,043.72 Euros was extracted the amount of 7,801.85 to cover previous debt.
So in fact, the new UEPS board started with a balance of 21,241.87 Euros and finished 2006 with of 18,677.78 Euros.
This year (26/4 and 8/5) we have received more than 19.426 Euros from AIPS, having not received due money from AIPS in 2006.
Concerning finances, following e-mail exchanges I wrote to AIPS treasurer Jorge Ribeiro on April 8. In the letter, I reminded him about the overdue AIPS card payments and also asked AIPS to contribute 20,000 Euros for the seven-day UEPS Summer School and 15,000 Euros for the 30th anniversary magazine, pointing out it was a luxury publication with 112 full colour pages and illustrations. The AIPS treasurer e-mailed back immediately promising the card money will be transferred soon.
He also tabled some questions regarding the two other projects, asking for a detailed list of the participants who will be attending the Summer School and the format, colours and contents of the magazine. Discussing the situation, committee members pointed out that our magazine was already at the printing house and AIPS would be able to see the magazine in Bregenz. Anyway we have sent all the technical details concerning the UEPS magazine and all the information, (programme, speakers, participants) for the Summer School to AIPS.
Concerning our School we estimate that we will have positive balance, but at this moment we cannot tell you exactly.
Regarding the UEPS magazine, our expenses for design, lay out and printing will be a little bit over than the income from advertisements without any support from AIPS or UEFA until now, like 5 years ago. But the real cost will be about 46 percent less than the 2002 edition.
I hope that during 2007 we will receive financial support from UEFA and AIPS due to our Summer School. I have also met the new UEFA treasurer Mr. Marios Lefkaritis in Athens, to discuss further financial support and we agreed to arrange a meeting in Nyon at a convenient time.
As UEPS treasurer, I should point out that receiving the overdue card payments and money for the Summer School and magazine, would provide valuable funding for running the Summer School where some of the payments will be made after the event. I would like to stress the importance of the magazine, our website and our debit cards, in attracting sponsorship money. We have succeeded 100 percent on this point. Using our “property”, we have managed to do deals with NIKE, Aldemar Hotels and Olympic Airlines with many benefits for our members.

Yannis Daras
UEPS treasurer
The report, accompanied by bank details, was approved.


1st UEPS SPORTS JOURNALISTS SUMMER SCHOOL
Treasurer Yannis Daras, who is supervising the project, told delegates that preparations were doing very well. At the last count, we had registered 205 participants from 31 countries, including VIPs and speakers. Speakers and subjects were wide-ranging to satisfy the most discriminating of audiences. The opening ceremony will take place in Athens on the night of May 25
Participants will stay at the five-star Aldemar Hotel, 10 kilometres from Olympia instead of the Olympic Academy which had higher charges. The change would save UEPS about 25,000 Euros. The treasurer predicted a positive balance for the project with an estimated income of 120,000 Euros against costs of about 110,000.
The treasurer told delegates that in keeping with the practice of former AIPS President Togay Bayatli, he had asked AIPS to contribute 20,000 Euros for the Summer School and 10,000 Euros for the magazine.

AIPS PRESIDENT

AIPS President Gianni Merlo, who had been present for part of the UEPS Congress, praised the Summer School Project, saying AIPS was in favour of encouraging cultural activities targeted at young journalists.
He noted the balance for staging the School would be positive, but added “I prefer to give money for the next project.”
Regarding the 30th anniversary magazine, he expressed concerns about distribution costs because of the weight of the magazine (treasurer Yannis Daras later pointed out that a major carrier had agreed to provide free distribution in exchange for advertising).
President Merlo also suggested that instead of the UEPS anniversary magazine, AIPS could have issued a special copy of their magazine, which could have included a history of UEPS with details of their work.
He did not agree with the views of some members of the UEPS Committee, who argued that the continental sections were autonomous agents and needed their own brand image in the same way at UEFA and the EOC functioned.
“UEPS is a branch, the right hand of AIPS,” he said.
President Merlo then announced that AIPS secretary-general Charles Camenzuli of Malta had resigned during the AIPS Executive Committee meeting in Bregenz the previous day, but would continue to act in his official capacity until the end of the AIPS Congress.
A brief printed announcement said he had offered his resignation because he felt morally obliged to do so as a member of the previous administration.
“We are sorry to lose an old friend and wish him well in his future career,” President Merlo said.
President Merlo did not want to be drawn into a detailed explanation of the causes
which led to the resignation.
Mr. Camenzuli, who has been a member of the AIPS Executive Board for 18 years, attended the UEPS Congress, but did not want to address delegates on the matter.
Delegates gave him a standing ovation.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS
LEGAL STATUS
Following a long debate, the Congress accepted the Executive Committee’s proposal for UEPS to be legally registered in Brussels.
Delegates were told it had not been possible to follow the formal protocol time lines because the offer of an official postal address from Sportspress, the Belgian Professional Sportswriters Association, had only been lodged on May 14.
Immediate action was necessary in order for UEPS to conduct any financial transactions. Although UEPS had obtained legal status in Monaco in 1996 this had been rescinded when AIPS had substituted its name for UEPS without UEPS’ knowledge two years ago.
Treasurer Yannis Daras told delegates, UEPS needed the legal status in order to function financially.
The Belgian offer would only cost 300 Euros per month which included the services of a secretary.
Postponing any decision until the next UEPS Congress would leave UEPS in an impossible situation.
The proposal was accepted by 22 votes to 2, with 10 abstentions.

Morley Myers
UEPS secretary-general