On 11 September, Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport announced the composition of two High-Level Groups on Sport. The Commission had published a call for applications for Sport Diplomacy and Grassroots Sport in mid-June and has now published the list of members. Each group is called upon to produce a report and a set of recommendations on their topics by June 2016 - until then four meetings per group are planned.
The group on Sport Diplomacy is to assess the value of sport in EU external policies, and in public diplomacy in particular. The Commission wants it to identify how sport can help the EU reach its external political ambitions and also wants to be an element of dialogue with third countries and regions as part of EU public diplomacy. The European Olympic Committees will be represented in this group by its President, Patrick Hickey. The group’s first meeting took place on 8 October in Brussels and focused on organisational questions and an initial debate of the topic.
The aim of the group on Grassroots Sports is to evaluate the place and role of grassroots sport in the European society and to provide ideas on how the EU could better support it. It will also analyse the role of grassroots sport in the promotion of positive values such as tolerance and make proposals for a comprehensive strategy and a way forward. Niels Nygaard, EOC Executive Committee Member and president of the Danish Olympic Committee (DIF) was nominated by the EOC and will be represented in this group. The first meeting of the group will take place on 9 November 2015.