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UEFA Congress: a simple guide

The 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress takes place in Montreux, Switzerland on Tuesday. Our quick guide tells you everything you need to know about Europe's football parliament.

Montreux, the 2021 UEFA Congress venue, lies on the banks of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland
Montreux, the 2021 UEFA Congress venue, lies on the banks of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland Getty Images/iStockphoto

What is the UEFA Congress?

The UEFA Congress is Europe’s equivalent of a football parliament. It brings together presidents and general secretaries representing each of UEFA’s 55 member associations to make decisions that help shape European football.

Participants discuss and vote on decisions, measures and proposals from both UEFA and member associations. The one-day meeting is chaired by Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA’s President since 2016, who is now in his second term of office.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin addresses last year's Congress in Amsterdam
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin addresses last year's Congress in AmsterdamUEFA via Getty Images

Hosted by one of UEFA’s member associations, the Ordinary Congress convenes once every year. If needed, an Extraordinary Congress can be called by UEFA’s Executive Committee, or at the written request of one-fifth or more of the UEFA member associations.

A second Ordinary Congress can also be called by the UEFA Executive Committee to deal with financial matters and/or matters of particular significance.

Why does the UEFA Congress matter?

The UEFA Congress may grab fewer headlines than a UEFA Champions League or EURO final, but its decisions impact football far beyond the pitch – and not just because it elects UEFA’s President every four years.

UEFA's national associations vote on important issues for European football.
UEFA's national associations vote on important issues for European football.UEFA.com

In recent events, the Congress has passed resolutions tackling match-fixing and corruption in football (2014) and emphasising European football's commitment to combating racism (2013), as well as admitting Kosovo into the European football community (2016). In 2019, the Congress approved UEFA’s current overall strategy, which will guide the development and governance of the beautiful game across the continent until 2024.

What else will happen in Montreux this week?

Ahead of Tuesday’s Congress, UEFA's Executive Committee convened in Montreux for its latest meeting.

What are the powers of the UEFA Congress?

The Congress elects the UEFA President, UEFA Executive Committee members and European members of the FIFA Council. The agenda includes the following items:

Elections take place at UEFA Congresses
Elections take place at UEFA Congresses Getty Images for UEFA

• election of UEFA’s auditing body

• amendment of the UEFA Statutes

• discussion and decision on proposals

• receipt and consideration of the annual UEFA President and Executive Committee report, as well as the annual UEFA administration report

• acknowledgement of the UEFA financial report and auditors' report

• approval of UEFA’s annual accounts, as well as the UEFA annual budget for the coming period

In addition, as needed, Congress considers:

• member associations’ applications for UEFA membership, or even the exclusion of an association. It can also decide to lift or continue the suspension of a member association, UEFA Executive Committee member or a member of another body.

• proposals for the dismissal of a UEFA Executive Committee member or members of the UEFA disciplinary bodies, (Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, Appeals Body); the ethics and disciplinary inspectors; and the Club Financial Control Body

• the award of honorary UEFA membership to a person for outstanding service to European football

Where are the official documents setting out the role of Congress?

Read Articles 12 to 20 of the UEFA Statutes and the UEFA Congress Rules of Procedure.