Dear Readers,

2023 was a rich year! Although even years are normally the ones in the spotlight due to the EHF EUROs – with the next coming in January – the calendar year 2023 was nonetheless exciting for European handball. Not only club competitions on the highest level with our EHF FINAL4 events bringing crowds of people to the venues: one may not be surprised about almost 20,000 people in Cologne, but the 20,022 sold out MVM Dome in Budapest was more than proof for the attractiveness of women’s handball; national team qualifications for EHF EUROs and World Championships present an ever-growing stage for all federations and especially see the mid-ranked and smaller nations get more involved and, with their quality, prove the commitment to the performance level.

Not to forget about beach handball with all its activities and events attracting fans as well as media.

The younger age category events across the summer months continue successfully and European handball is looking forward to the new format with the men’s events. Overall, glancing at the results and in addition to the titles and medals in EHF competitions, European organisers on a continent and world level have presented our sport in a more than effective way to the outside world, and European teams in indoor and beach handball persistently showed their strength in the rankings.

Competitions seem to be the core business of handball, but the technical level even more proves to be a success story: all these education measures, seminars, webinars with thousand of participants from Europe and other continents are significantly contributing to the progress of the handball sport.

You may realise that the 2023 EHF Congress comes at the end of the text, however, it has to be noted that the cooperation on a sport-political level and the coordination in the field of organisation and administration is a precondition for a balanced development; this held up both in times of crises and challenges of the recent years. Jumping ahead 12 months, in December 2024, it will be my pleasure to welcome the leaders of handball to Vienna for the 17th Conference of Presidents and the 16th Extraordinary EHF Congress, to exchange information, hold valuable discussions, and extrapolate results that will benefit the sport in the years to come.

Overall, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the successful activities, be it on a voluntary or professional level. You continuously not only keep the sport on track…you drive it forward!

Please enjoy all of the information provided through this report and find at the end, and in the text of the Secretary General, more information on the year 2024 – a feature year starting with the biggest EHF EURO event so far and ending in mid-December with the highlight weekend in Vienna!

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wiederer