On 17 April 2018, the EOC EU Office gathered representatives of 18 different organisations for its Annual Partner Meeting in Brussels.
Folker Hellmund, Director of the EOC EU Office, gave a brief overview of the office’s recent and future activities in the opening and announced that the Office will co-organise a funding seminar for NOCs from non-EU-countries in Serbia on 18 and 19 June 2018. He also mentioned that the Office actively supported those partner organisations that handed in a project proposal to the Erasmus+ sport call in the application process. Furthermore, he raised the active role played by the Office in the public consultations on the future multi-annual financial framework (MFF), long term budget post-2020 of the EU.
After the introductory remarks, partners of the Office shared their recent activities and expressed their views on the recent developments related to e-sport and sport cooperation with China. Active discussion showed that both issues are currently hot topics in the partner organisations. Many partners had a positive experience exchanging know-how with Chinese sport organisations however it is to be balanced with the importance of preserving European Sport Model.
The second part of the morning session was dedicated to the current challenges that the organised sport is facing. Benoit Keane, a lawyer representing the International Skating Union in its litigation against two Dutch speed skaters, explained that the Commission found it disproportionate to sanction athletes with a life-ban, should they wish to compete in independent events. However, the Commission acknowledged the independence of Sport Federations to impose eligibility criteria for organising private competitions, as long as the objectives are legitimate and proportionate. This is important news for safeguarding the European sport model.
It also initiated a discussion on the ongoing dispute between FIBA and Euroleague concerning the competitions calendar.
Further exchange of views took place on various topics such as challenges of rule 40 of the Olympic Charter or the draft Charter of Athlete Rights proposed by WADA.
In the afternoon, the discussions focused on the recent developments in specific EU policy fields relevant for sport. EOC EU Office colleagues presented the process and expectations for the future long term budget of the EU, as well as updates on the implementation of the EU Work Plan for Sport, data protection, visa policy or the reform of VAT policy.
The EOC EU Office thanks all its partner organisations for their participation and valuable contributions during the meeting.