380 participants registered, coming from sport associations, institutions and federations. This was the first day of the Sofia EU Sport Forum 2018, for the first time with the participation of stakeholders coming from outside the European Union. EMCA representatives, since 2013, have always been participating to this appointment and this year there was no exception: Stefano Orengo joined Vanina Milanova and Lusien Velchev from Levski SC for the event.
After the opening remarks by the Bulgarian and Sofia institutional representatives, the stage was given to the EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, who presented the roadmap of the next EU sport events, starting from the next edition of the EU Week of Sport. Once more, the Commissioner talked about the priorities Erasmus+ Sport Programme: integrity of sport; economic dimension of sport; and sport and society.
The first session of the day was dedicated to sustainable sport, referring to Olympic Games to be taken in 2022 and 2024. Mr Jean-Michel Brun, from the French Olympic Committee, talked about the Paris edition, organised in harmony with the Agenda2020 targets. Ms. Marie Barsacq added the importance of creating long term advantages and legacies by the organisation of the Games, creating – in the case of Paris – a “Legacy and Sustainability Strategy”. Indeed, Paris2024, according to Mr Eric Lebédel (French Ambassador in Bulgaria) is a wonderful opportunity for the entire Europe.
Mr. Yang Shu’an, Vice-President of the Chinese Olympic Committee talked, as well, about the preparation of Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2022, with a specific sustainability policy.
The following topic was about the role of sport in promoting international cooperation. Mr Tarvi Purn, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, underlined the importance of coaches’ role in this process, then, a panel with Tibor Nacracsics, Janica Kostelic, Bodgan Wenton and Georgie Twigg touched the topic. “Sport has to play an essential role in Europe” said the EU Commissioner during the round-table.
During the afternoon, three sessions were held simultaneously (about Regional and City developments; transfers of players; Women in sport), before the final ending sessions about healthy lifestyle, with specific referrals to the “Tartu Call for Action” launched last September and interesting ideas to make it in practice.