Under the motto "Towards a healthier, resilient and sustainable European sport" the 2021 edition of the Commission-led initiative, which is the main platform of structural dialogue, brought together representatives from public policy, EU institutions, private enterprises, educational and sport experts to discuss challenges, opportunities and the future of sport in the EU on 8 - 9 June.
In light of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and MEP Tomasz Frankowski highlighted the importance of the European Model of Sport for a more cohesive and inclusive Europe based on solidarity.
“Sport must and will prepare for a new world and rebuild a more human-centred society”, Thomas Bach.
The panel discussions and workshops following offered expert views, stakeholder opinions and practices to consider when shaping the future of sport in Europe.
In general, the way forward was outlined to be reliant on “learnability” (Andre Bernardo, Sporting Clube de Portugal), “flexibility” (Kornelija Tiesnesyte, former Deputy Minister for Sport, Lithuania) and “hope” (Niels Nygaard, then acting President of the EOC).
Therefore, sustainability ought to be a fundamental principle in the everyday functioning of sport organisations as Georgina Grenon, Director Environmental Excellence of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games explained it. The topic of the healthy lifestyle will become more prominent in the “Healthy Lifestyle 4 all” – campaign launching with the European Week of Sport during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. With regard to moving towards gender equality in sport, the High Level Group on Gender Equality in sport emphasised the still evident marginalisation of women and the urgency to act.
The EU Sport Forum 2021 offered fruitful discussions and showed the commitment of everyone involved towards a "healthier, resilient and sustainable European sport".