The Confédération Européenne de Volleyball (CEV) is the continental governing body for the sport of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in Europe. Its headquarters are located in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Although the so-called European Sports Commission – a sort of forerunner of CEV - was set up only on October 21, 1963, in Bucharest (Romania) with Max Wasterlain of Belgium being elected President of this institution, Volleyball was already pretty popular in Europe at that time. 10 out of the 14 countries that attended the 1947 Congress which ultimately paved the way for the foundation of the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) were actually stemming from Europe (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Yugoslavia).

The very first Men’s European Championship was staged in Rome in 1948 with the participation of 6 teams; Czechoslovakia claimed gold, while France and Italy finished second and third respectively. The premiere for the Women’s European Championship followed in 1949 in Prague with a total of 7 teams lining up for the competition that came to a close with the Soviet Union topping the charts ahead of Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Club competitions were also introduced before the official establishment of the European Sports Commission; the men competed for the first time in 1960 and the women only one year later. Both inaugural competitions eventually went to Soviet teams, namely CSKA MOSCOW and Dinamo MOSCOW respectively.

Only one year after Volleyball debuted at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and the guys from the Soviet Union were crowned champions there, a decision was endorsed by the European Sports Commission to organize Junior European Championships every 2 years. The inaugural competition was held in Hungary in 1966 with the Soviet Union topping the standings in both genders.

The FIVB Congress staged in 1972 as the Olympic Games were being held in Munich decided that the five continental Sports Associations of Africa, Asia, Europe, NORCECA and South America were to be transformed into Continental Confederations.

The European Volleyball Confederation, or Confédération Européenne de Volleyball, was officially established on September 9, 1973 in The Hague during a special General Assembly of the ESC. Italy’s Giancarlo Giannozzi was elected its first President.

In 1989 the CEV headquarters moved from Brussels – where they had been located since the establishment of the European Sports Commission – to Luxembourg. For the first time in history the final rounds of the European Championships took place in different countries, i.e. Sweden (men) and West Germany (women). At the time where Italy’s golden generation started sweeping all major international events, the Board decided to create a working group – comprising 3 persons – in charge of studying the possible creation of a Beach Volleyball Commission.

With the break-up of the Soviet Union and of the former Yugoslavia, in 1992 the CEV family was joined by 11 new members: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

In 1996 Greenland joined the European Volleyball family, bringing the total up to 54 National Federations, followed by Montenegro in 2006 to bring the total of affiliated National Federations up to 55 units.

In 2009 the final round of the CEV European Championship – Women was organized – for the first time ever – across four different venues in Poland (Lodz, Katowice, Wroclaw and Bydgoszcz) breaking all previous records in terms of spectators’ attendance and TV audience.

On October 17, 2015 Mr Aleksandar Boricic was sworn in as CEV President thereby opening a new era for the sport in Europe. As the ninth President of the CEV since the Confederation was established back in 1973, Mr Boricic has committed himself to modernising the sport as well as to improving the governance of Europe’s Volleyball family working closely with his colleagues from the Board of Administration who were elected on that same day in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The CEV family increased its membership to 56 Federations following the approval of Kosovo on the opening day of the 35th FIVB World Congress held on October 5, 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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