European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Janez Kocijančič today met with Sports Ministers from European Union Member States to discuss the promotion of the European Union as the leading destination for hosting major sports events.
The meeting took place at the Stade de France in Paris, host of the Olympic Games 2024, and featured presentations by French Minister of Sport Laura Flessel, Bulgarian Minister of Youth and Sports Krasen Kralev and Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, among others.
President Kocijančič took the opportunity to speak about the constantly evolving nature of sports models both in Europe and overseas, and called for the European model to be preserved but improved by learning from the best practices of others while avoiding the worst, such as over-commercialisation and rampant spending.
“One of the greatest challenges that European sport faces is how to preserve the unique nature of our national championships while at the same time keeping pace with the evolution of sports from overseas, in particular America,” President Kocijančič said. “We must work together to create the winning formula – sustaining the passion and excitement of European sport while increasing competitiveness.”
The sports leaders signed a declaration of intent regarding the EU’s sport perspective on Paris 2024, which they welcomed as an important event to promote Europe’s cultural, sporting and social heritage.
In addition to calling for adherence to social and environmental norms and the principles of good governance, the leaders also discussed ways to enhance legacies that hosting major sports events can leave for future generations. These legacies include economic, social, cultural, educational and environmental benefits.
The declaration also underscored the ability of major sports events to positively contribute to international and diplomatic relations, human rights, and tourism.
Following the meeting, President Kocijančič attended a presentation on the preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and was given a tour of the iconic Stade de France, which will host the athletics competitions as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.