The EU Sport Forum is an annual event, supporting dialogue with the European and international sport community. It represents a central meeting point between sport organisations, representatives of the EU Institutions and Member States exchanging views on the current and future sport policies.
The event was kicked off by European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Ms Mariya Gabriel, in front over 400 persons in Lille, and hundreds more online participants.
Her intervention was followed by a moving show of solidarity by the sport sector to the people of Ukraine. After Mr Vadym Huttsait, Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and Mr Sergey Bubka, President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine had addressed the participants, the participants responded with a long standing ovation that reaffirmed the support of the sector and the participants themselves to the country under siege.
The conference programme itself was then kicked off with a high-level panel on the main theme of the event: ‘European Sport: fair, inclusive and fit for the future’, with Commissioner Gabriel as moderator, and guest panellists Mr Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Ms Mary Charalambous Papamiltiades, Director General of the Cyprus Sport Organisation; Mr Spyros Capralos, President of teh European Olympic Committees; Mr Gilles Quénéhervé, Director of the Ministry of Sports of France; and Mr Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. A specific emphasis was laid on the solidarity which is needed in the sport sector to ensure not only in the context of war on the European continent but also among sport organisations and from large associations towards the grassroots sport sector.
This session was followed by a session on sustainable sport, the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus, moderated by the main master of ceremony Mr Brian Maguire. The panellists for this discussion were Mr Tomasz Frankowski, Member of the European Parliament; Ms Marie-Amélie Le Fur, President of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee; Mr Leonz Eder, Acting President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), Ms Isabelle Guyader, Chief Sustainability Officer at Decathlon International and Ms Marie Barsacq, Executive Director for Impact and Legacy of Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The event also included parallel sessions on ‘The role of sport in defending and promoting European fundamental values’, ‘Drive equality, diversity & inclusion in sport’, ‘Empowering athletes’ and ‘Key principles and values of a European Sport Model’.
In parallel to the EU Sport Forum, HealthyLifeStyle4All Youth Ideas Labs were taking place and reported back to the overall event in form of elevator pitches for 5 identified ideas.
Finally the two-day event included an update on European Commission’s initiatives on sport & Erasmus presented by Ms Floor van Houdt, Head of the Sport Unit, DG EAC, European Commission and Mr Luciano Di Fonzo, Deputy Head of Erasmus Mundus, Sport, European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
The event was closed by Ms Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sport and Olympic and Paralympic Games of France; Mr Filip Neusser, President of the National Sports Agency of the Czech Republic; and Ms Viviane Hoffmann, Deputy Director General of DG EAC at the European Commission.