In April 2017, the European Athletics Council agreed to implement the Focus Federation Programme as means of enhancing the transparency, improving communication and increasing understanding between European Athletics and its Member Federations.
Each year, two federations will be invited to participate by exchanging information with the European Athletics Head Office staff and making a presentation to the European Athletics Council. The programme is offered to all federations that are not currently represented on the Council.
As part of the Programme, participating Member Federations are invited to the European Athletics Head Office in Lausanne and briefed on all areas of European Athletics’ operations, ranging from competition structure, bidding processes, good governance, marketing strategy and initiatives such as I Run Clean and Dynamic New Athletics (DNA).
This gives both the Member Federation and European Athletics the opportunity to interact and ask questions of each other.
It also gives European Athletics the chance to understand the Member Federations’s athletics structure and operations, including their development plans, as well as understand their struggles and challenges.
This process reinforces the bond betweer European Athletics and the Member Federation.
An action plan is then established for enhancing the functions, efficiency and engagement of the Member Federation which is later presented to the European Athletics Council.
Ireland – hosts of the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships – became the sixth Member Federation to complete the Focus Federation Programme with their comprehensive presentation to the European Athletics Council in April 2021.
As of 1 February 2022, the other Member Federations to have completed the Focus Federation Programme are Belarus, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia and Lithuania.