State Secretary for sport Tomislav Družak chaired today the second informal videoconference of Sport Ministers which addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sport sector.
The videoconference was attended by Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, Mariya Gabriel. Members of the International Olympic Committee, Director General Kristof De Kepper and Vice Chair of the Athletes' Commission Danka Barteková presented to Ministers proposals on how to overcome the crisis and relaunch sport activities and competitions.
Ministers exchanged information on measures and plans for restarting the activity of the sport sector in the short-term, mid-term and long-term perspective. They identified the main challenges that lay ahead and areas of possible cooperation with stakeholders in the field of sport at the EU level.
“A special emphasis should be placed on the safe return of athletes and citizens to sport activities and on launching sport events without jeopardising public health. It is also necessary to continue strengthening the dialogue with the sports movement at all levels - from local to international - in order to address jointly long-term adjustments to changes brought upon by this crisis.”
Tomislav Družak, State Secretary for Sport
Member States agree that the main task is to find a way to help the sport sector to restart its regular activities completely and to make it at the same time more resilient for possible health crises in the future.
Ministers also stressed the importance of sharing the information and scientific facts at the EU level, as well as sharing information with European sport organisations in order to coordinate procedures and deliver necessary support to continue the activity of the sport sector as soon as possible.
“The first Sport Council Ministerial took place ten years ago and a lot has been achieved since then. I am happy that today, all Ministers reaffirmed the benefits of the European dimension of sport. The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of sport for our societies, promoting not only the physical activity and well-being of EU citizens, but also contributing to Europe’s economic development and social inclusion, as well as to major societal challenges.”
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth
Ministers have welcomed the activities of the European Commission, including the flexibility of the Erasmus+ Sport programme, as well as future EU programmes and they have backed all further activities planned by the European Commission in order to provide support for the sport sector.
State Secretary Družak used the opportunity to thank all Member States for their valuable input and constructive cooperation, which allowed finalizing the Council conclusions on empowering coaches by enhancing opportunities to acquire skills and competences, that will be adopted through a written procedure.