On 24 November 2017, the NOC of Croatia officially signed a bilateral agreement to become partner of the EOC EU Office as of 1 January 2018. The agreement was signed on the occasion of the 46th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees in Zagreb by EOC President Mr. Janez Kocijančič and NOC Croatia Secretary General Mr. Josip Čop.
The partnership between the NOC of Croatia and the EOC EU Office is the next step in a fruitful cooperation that started already many years ago. Already in 2012, the NOC of Croatia was one of the core partners of the EU-funded “Sport 4 Good Governance” Project of the EOC EU Office. But also after the conclusion of the Project, the NOC and the EOC EU Office worked together on various occasions, for instance in the framework of the SUCCESS Project of the NOC of Croatia.
EOC President Mr. Janez Kocijančič expressed his satisfaction with the partnership by stating that this new agreement demonstrates the European-wide approach of the EOC EU Office. He added that Croatia, having joined the European Union only in 2013, shows the willingness of the National Olympic Committees of Europe to cooperate closely with the European institutions in various fields. “This cooperation has great significance not only for the NOC of Croatia, but for the entire sport in Croatia.” Although the EOC is the umbrella of 50 NOCs, President Kocijančič expressed his satisfaction with the recent openness of the EU institutions towards non-EU countries and NOCs, for instance in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme or the European Week of Sport.
NOC Secretary General Mr. Josip Čop added the following: “The NOC of Croatia has recognised the importance of cooperations with the EOC EU Office. This agreement will improve our cooperation on European projects and in relation to formulation of European policies in the field of sport.”
Folker Hellmund, Director of the EOC EU Office, welcomed the partnership and stressed the already cordial relationship with the NOC of Croatia. One concrete field of cooperation between the NOC of Croatia and the EOC EU Office will be the new “Single Points of Contact for Sports Integrity” (POINTS) Project of the EOC EU Office that will start in January 2018. The NOC of Croatia will be one of the partners together with ten other National Olympic Committees.
For the EOC EU Office, the NOC of Croatia is the 12th NOC to become an official bilateral partner and the 26th partner organisation overall.