On 25 and 26 April, the EOC EU Office in Brussels organised a two-day Seminar for Olympic Athletes’ Commissions. European athletes’ representatives from the Olympic Movement, led by IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Claudia Bokel (GER) and EOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Jean-Michel Saive (BEL), attended the Seminar in Brussels to discuss challenges and opportunities for Olympic athletes’ representations at European level. Rozle Prezelj (SLO), Chair of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission, also took part in the meeting.
Folker Hellmund, Director of the EOC EU Office, and Jean-Michel Saive welcomed the elected athletes’ representatives from the IOC, the EOC and NOC Athletes’ Commissions and chaired the internal meeting. They both stressed the importance of a more regular communication and professional organisation of the work of the Athletes’ Commissions. The group shared their experiences and views and discussed a common position paper on topics of relevance for athletes, including dual careers, good governance and integrity.
Furthermore, the athletes had the opportunity to meet and exchange views with representatives of the EU Commission, including Jens Nymand-Christensen, Deputy Director General of DG EAC, Yves Le Lostecque, Head of the Sport Unit, and Szabolcs Horvath, Cabinet member of Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Jean-Michel Saive stressed the commitment of the EOC Athletes’ Commission to strengthen their representation towards the EU institutions and to engage in a more regular dialogue. Jens Nymand-Christensen welcomed the strong wish of the elected athletes to engage more with the European Commission, especially considering the many shared priorities. Both sides agreed that input from elected athletes is essential for EU policy making.
Finally, the group met with Members of the European Parliament: Santiago Fisas and Bogdan Wenta as Co-President and Member of the EP Sport Intergroup respectively. They discussed how the Athletes Commissions can be more involved in the future activities of the European Parliament and in particular, the Intergroup Sport. This meeting closed of a successful two-day seminar.