FINA has announced that they will be holding their General Congress on July 22, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. The meeting will take place during the FINA World Aquatics Championships the day before the swimming competitions start. FINA‘s General Congress is usually held every four years and tends to coincide with World’s, as it is the largest event held by FINA.
What does the General Congress do?
All National Federations are expected to attend the event. The main job at the General Congress is to elect members of the FINA Bureau to serve for the next four years. The Bureau consists of 23 voting members all elected by the General Congress, however, 16 of them are appointed according to continental populations. The General Congress appoints three members from Africa, four from the Americas, four from Asia, four from Europe and one from Oceania. The remaining seven are elected from the world as a whole.
From these 23 voting members of the Bureau, the General Congress elects a President, five vice presidents (one from each continent), and the Honorary Treasurer.
During the Congress, the current FINA Bureau presents proposals to the General Congress. These proposals can include any rule changes, but the FINA Bureau themselves cannot implement these changes. The General Congress must approve them.
During this time, the General Congress and the Bureau will also decide which two countries will win the bids to hold the 2022 and 2024 Short Course World Championships. The announcement will be made via press conference after the conclusion of the World Aquatics Championships.
Previous General Congress
The previous General Congress was held on July 26, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. A new record number of participating National Federations was set in Spain. 170 National Federations sent delegates to participate in this congress. In 2013, Dr. Julio C. Maglione was reelected president. He began his first term in 2009. At this Congress, the FINA Ethics Bureau was established, which was a significant change to the FINA Constitution. There were also slight changes to the general rules including the addition of the 4×50 free and medley relays for both men and women to the list of valid events.