Organised by the former Dutch EU Presidency nearly 20 Member States representatives met beginning of December in order to discuss the follow-up of the declaration on Major Sport Events (MSE) adopted end of May 2016. The sport was represented Folker Hellmund (IOC/EOC) and Julien Zylberstein (UEFA).
From the Olympic Movement perspective the following aspects should be taken into account:
- The EU activities on MSE should be linked to other existing activities in which governments and sport federations are sitting together in order to avoid an overlap of work.
- Sport events are more and more organised by commercial organisers as part of their business model. That creates problems for sport federations and their existing events. The revenues are needed for develop the respective sport (financing of youth sport or education of referees etc.)
- A clear distinction of tasks and responsibilities between sport organisers and governments should be made. Very often only sport federations are blamed e.g. for the missing sustainability of sport infrastructure. The implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 is key in this regard e.g. to reduce costs for bidding and hosting Olympic Games.
One main objective of the initiative should be to restore the trust of governments and the population in major sport events. The negative referenda on Olympic Games in some European countries (GER, NOR, SWI) could be regarded as an alert and should trigger common efforts to keep Europe as an excellent host for future MSE.
- The topic of MSE will be most likely taken up as part of the new Work Plan of Sport Ministers (2017-2020). Furthermore it’s obvious that apart from High Level meetings a working structure (incl. federations, governments, and experts) is required in order to produce any outcome. This question will be discussed in the upcoming months before the Sport Ministers Work Plan will be adopted end of May 2017. Further points have been raised by Member States:
- How smaller countries can be part of major sport events?
- How host cities and federations could share better expertise in organising events?
It is most likely that the topic of MSE will be taken up at the Sport Forum (8/9 March) in Malta.