On 24 October 2018, the EOC EU Commission met at the EOC EU Office in Brussels, discussing sport-related matters within the framework of EU. This was the first meeting of the new EOC EU Commission, following the EOC elections in Zagreb last November.
The meeting brought together members of the Commission, namely Juri Tamm (Chair, Estonia), Niels Nygaard (EOC ExCom liaison member, Denmark), Rusiko Aptsiauri (Georgia), Matthias Van Baelen (Belgium), Daniel Dax (Luxembourg), Ihor Hotsul (Ukraine), Olga Piperidou (Cyprus), Sasho Popovski (FYROM), Izet Radjo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Joao Pedro Lopes da Silva (Portugal) as EOC Athletes Commission representative, along with representatives of the EOC EU Office. The meeting was organised in three main parts: an update on EU policy fields, a discussion on the future activities of the EOC EU Commission, and a discussion with Yves Le Lostecque - Head of the Sport Unit, European Commission.
Update on EU policy fields
The first topic that was addressed after the general introduction was the EU elections of the next European Parliament in May 2019. In addition, the group discussed different options to improve the use of the network of NOCs to influence EU decision making.
An overview of the current negotiations at the EU level regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 was then provided, stressing the work done at the office to promote sport in the different financial programmes, notably Erasmus+, but also ERDF, ESF+, CAP, InvestEU, LIFE, IPA III and NDICI.
Other relevant topics for sport were presented and/or discussed, such as the European Sport Model, the EU Competition Policy, the VAT Directive, sport legal issues (Rule 40 of the IOC Charter, CAS rulings), the WHO study on physical activity in Europe, VISA policy, and European Week of Sport beyond borders, among other things.
Discussion with Yves Le Lostecque
Yves Le Lostecque started his presentation with an update on the negotiations for the next generation of Erasmus programme. He mentioned the proposal of the Commission to double the current budget as well as to open the possibility to use mobility activities in the sport chapter.
The participants raised the low share of sport organisations involved in the projects as well as the topic of involvement of non-EU countries, stressing that sport in Europe is organised in around 50 countries and not only EU countries. Yves Le Lostecque said that he is aware of the situation and that for budgetary reasons the Commission did not propose to open mobility for non-EU countries but that the Parliament and the Member States could still take a different decision.
Objectives of the EOC EU Commission
On the basis of the recommendations made by the previous EOC EU Commission, as well as the current EU policy agenda, the members of the Commission agreed on the main objectives they wanted to follow for the 4 years term:
- Make sure the voice of the EOC EU Commission is heard at EU level
- Better use of the NOCs network to influence EU policies
- Better use EU financial resources by NOCs including for non-EU countries
As a first step to implement these objectives, the EOC EU Commission has prepared a questionnaire for the NOCs, which will be distributed at the EOC General Assembly in Marbella.