On 29 November, EU ministers responsible for sports met in Brussels for a Council meeting, the last EU sport-related event under the Czech Council Presidency. The main topics on the agenda were the adoption of Council Conclusions on Sustainable and Accessible Sports Infrastructure and a debate on how to turn the current crises, which the sport sector is currently facing, into opportunities, and a discussion on human rights and sport.
Members States representatives highlighted a number of initiatives and good practice examples from their countries i.e. development of digital tools, transition of sports infrastructure towards sustainable and energy-efficient sources of energy, while acknowledging the seriousness of the energy crisis for the sport sector, especially at grassroots level. Representatives of the upcoming Swedish Council Presidency outlined the country's priorities in the field of sport for the next 6 months- good governance in sport and the promotion of physical activity- and provided information on the planned meetings including those at the Council and at General Directors' levels, which will be organized respectively in May and June 2023.
Whereas the Baltic countries and Poland stated their opposition to the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in sporting events, the Netherlands brought the topic of Human Rights to the table. The country invited the European Commission to map actions undertaken regarding the protection of human rights in major sports events assignment processes. However, Commissioner responsible for sports Maryia Gabriel declared that the Commission could not interfere with Member States' autonomy on the matter.