ENGSO was well-represented at the Seminar on Sport Diplomacy

On 6th December, the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission organised a seminar on sport diplomacy in Brussels. ENGSO, its members and ENGSO Youth formed a large delegation, promoting the diplomatic power of grassroots sport.

President of the National Olympic Committee of Denmark and recently elected EOC Vice-President, Niels Nygaard, was a speaker of the opening session. In his intervention, he stressed the importance of finding ways and common initiatives to include all 50 European countries into the Erasmus+ Sport and the European Week of Sport. Yves Le Lostecque, Head of the Sport Unit of the European Commission, had good news, since he announced that the aim for next year is to expand the European Week of Sport to the Western Balkans.

In the morning session about good practices, ENGSO Youth Vice-Chair, Nevena Vukasinovic presented the Pink Paper, which is a set of recommendations from young representatives of the sport movement, written at the European Youth Sport Forum in March.

The session about good practices was followed by a panel discussion entitled “To what extent can sport be used as a tool for diplomacy?” There representatives of the Paris2024, the Hungarian National Trading House, the non-governmental organisation, Fútbol Más, and European Athletics exchanged their thoughts moderated by Albrecht Sonntag, professor at the EU-Asia Institute.

In the afternoon, the European Commission gave an update on its points on the topic of sport diplomacy, which was followed by workshop sessions. After the summary of the workshop outcomes, the event came to its final part, the conclusions. Gabriela Kozareva, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Bulgaria, the President country of the Council of the EU in the next six months and Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director of Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport at the European Commission concluded the event by identifying the next steps to be taken.

ENGSO was represented at the seminar by our Policy Director, Heidi Pekkola, the Co-chair of our EU Advisory Committee, Mikkel Larsen and our Communication and Policy Officer, Orsolya Tolnay.

Apart from Ms. Vukasinovic, ENGSO Youth Committee member, Bence Garamvölgyi and six Young Delegates were present at the seminar, which was a great opportunity for ENGSO and ENGSO Youth to meet other actors in the European sport movement and discuss the diplomatic power of sport. It was also great to meet there Mr. Zoltán Bóné, the Secretary General of the Hungarian Competitive Sport Federation, one of ENGSO’s member organisations.

Representatives of ENGSO and ENGSO Youth at the Seminar

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