Today, Europe is the "epicentre" of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the WHO. The arrival of Covid-19 has forced many sport organisations, to take precautionary measures, like postponing or cancelling events, meetings and sometimes even ceasing their activities. The “European Evening of Sports” which was supposed to take place in Brussels on 16 March has finally been postponed and we will come up with a new date as soon as possible.
Also the European Commission has postponed its annual EU Sports Forum supposed to take place in Zagreb, Croatia on 26-27 March. From a political and economic point of view, various measures have been implemented by the European Union since the very beginning of the crisis. According to Art. 168 of the TFEU, the EU has authority to take supportive actions in the domain of health where it “encourages cooperation” and “shall complement and not replace national policies”. Subsequently and in accordance with Art. 23 of the Schengen Borders Code, the Member States shall have the possibility of establishing checks at their borders, for renewable periods of 30 days, in the event of a serious threat to public policy or internal security. It is the first time that European countries have implemented such measures on grounds of health and this means that they all retain control over their health policy. Following these initiatives, the Commission responded by presenting guidelines for border measures to protect the health of the population.
While the Member States remain the main stakeholders in fighting the crisis, the Commission has set up a number of additional initiatives:
1. Direct grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments
2. State guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks
3. Subsidised publics loans to companies
4. Safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy
5. Short-term export credit insurance
All Member States are working on national funding schemes that go far beyond the support provided by the European Union. In general, sport organisations are eligible for support as soon as staff members are fully employed and the organisation is carrying out economic activities.
Since the spread of the coronavirus still develops, the EU is constantly introducing new measures and initiatives for the support. The EOC EU Office will closely continue to follow these activities.