On 2-3 May, the European Commission organised its main sport policy event of the year, the EU Sport Forum, in Stockholm, Sweden. The annual event brings together the European sport movement to discuss the latest policy developments in the field.
European Commissioner Maryia Gabriel, whose portfolio includes sport, opened the 2023 EU Sport Forum via a video message. She stressed the important role sport can play in terms of inclusion and social cohesion. Ms Gabriel subsequently highlighted the new Sport Innovation Summit she will be hosting in Brussels on May 30th as well as the Commissions’ unwavering support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian Sport Movement.
Following Commissioner Gabriel’s remarks, Jakob Forssmed, the Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs, informed the participants of the Swedish Council Presidency’s focus on wellbeing in society and active lifestyles. These will be prominent agenda topics during the Council meeting on 15th May. Mr Forssmed explained how the Swedish government is focussing on promoting physical activity among socially disadvantaged children to tackle health inequalities and on promoting active ageing to address the increasing individual and societal cost of loneliness.
Mr Frankowski, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the European Parliament Sport Group concluded the welcoming remarks by stressing his personal commitment to sport and physical activity and highlighting the recommendations from the Report on EU sports policy: assessment and possible ways forward, which was adopted in November 2021.
The opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion on gender equality in sport which prominently featured the Recommendations and action plan from the High-Level Group on Gender Equality in sport from 2022. Viviane Hoffman, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate responsible for sport, recognised how sport mirrors and shapes society, and that whilst sport still has some problems it can be a valuable part of the solution.
After the panel discussion, the following #Beinclusive Awards were handed out:
- Breaking barriers in sport: Free Movement Skateboarding, Greece
- Promoting gender equality in sport “Be Equal”: PaddlePWR-GirlPWR, Slovenia
- Sport for peace: Youth Line, Portugal
The second part of the first day and the full second day of the EU Sport Forum were then dedicated to breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics relevant to the field of sport. During the closing remarks, Ms Hoffman thanked all contributors for their great input and looked ahead to 2024, which will be an important year with several high-level Sport tournaments and the EU elections in spring.
More information about and a recording of the EU Sport Forum can be found here.