21 Apr 2020

EOC takes lead in asking EU to support sport organisations

Categories: EOC · EU

21 April 2020

The current global crisis is having a significant impact on sport and sports organisations throughout Europe. All kinds of sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, most sport facilities are closed and some of the hardest hit have been sport clubs and federations.

Earlier today, EU sports ministers held a videoconference to discuss the current impact of the coronavirus pandemic and solutions for the future. The discussions were based on the position paper on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the sport sector, which was produced by the EOC EU office, the EOC branch based in Brussels,  in collaboration with sport stakeholders of the SHARE Initiative of the European Commission.

The paper urges the European entities to ensure that sport organisations are fully eligible for support under relevant EU funding schemes directed to overcome the crisis. This is related, especially, to the redirection of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), such as the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII), and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+). The paper also includes an action plan for the promotion of sport for a more resilient and sustainable Europe, proposing more support measures that would directly benefit the sport sector.

The initiative has gathered wide support from 44 sport stakeholders, including 18 European National Olympic Committees, and has been sent to top EU representatives, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel.

Addressing the European Commission President in a letter, EOC President Janez Kocijančič highlighted the economic and societal importance of the sport sector and the current challenges, as well as reiterating his support for the measures being implemented. “We appreciate all the initiatives and flexibility that the European Union has shown in the last weeks and are well aware that the situation is dramatic,” Kocijančič said. “It is important that some crucial elements of European sport will not disappear or collapse. The access for sport organisations and sport clubs to the current and future funding schemes must be safeguarded, and we can reassure you that the Olympic Sport movement in Europe is on your side.”

For more information on the paper and initiatives, click here.