Articles & Publications

The external dimension of the EU Sport Diplomacy

September 11, 2019
Sport Diplomacy

“It is clear that European sport is undergoing substantial changes and facing new challenges which are are largely common to other continents: increased commercialisation which brings more funding but also new dangers into sport, necessity to integrate migrants and refugees, more awareness of the sustainability and environmental concerns, increased strength of private actors challenging traditional federations and keen to create private leagues, development of new technologies, etc.These evolutions take place in a context where we can notice worrying trends in the level of physical activity of European citizens as well as changes in the ways of practising sport: more individualism clearly...

I would add that sport is no longer seen as being a purely leisure or well-being activity but more and more as a major tool of integration and education. Sport is also a major concern for politicians because of its major impact and the interest it generates in the population. Everybody is interested, and most of the time passionate, about sport.I consider that we have a lot to learn from sport in international cooperation.

Major sport organisations and federations have for a long time been organising themselves at international level and put in place umbrella structures. They have put in place international events and competitions. They have adopted common rules including the ‘rules of the game’. Given this, sport is a powerful tool in helping to ensure cooperation among countries, in promoting common Values, and more generally, soft diplomacy.”

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