From left to right: Aleksander Ceferin, President of the Union of the European Football Associations; Krasen Kralev, Bulgarian Minister for Youth and Sport; Boil Banov, Bulgarian Minister of Culture; Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports. Photo: European Union
Bulgarian Minister for Culture Boil Banov and Minister for Youth and Sports Krasen Kralev hosted on 23 May two important policy debates in the Council of the EU, in their capacity as Presidents of the Council. The discussions, on the topics of 'The way ahead: Long-term vision for the contribution of culture to the EU after 2020' and 'Commercialisation of elite sports and the sustainability of the European Model of Sport', took place on the second day of the May Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting in Brussels. The debates follow on from the discussions on the future of education and youth in EU that were held on the first day of the Council.
In the area of culture, the ministers adopted a set of Council conclusions with a common vision on the need for a integrated approach to the EU cultural heritage in all EU policies. The topic builds on the recognition by EU policymakers of the important role that culture plays in today’s society, also acknowledged by the designation of 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
Commenting on today’s meeting, Minister Banov said:
'The crucial role of culture in addressing key social and economic challenges was recognised by the European Council in its conclusions of December 2017. We are working to translate principles into reality and to outline a long-term vision for the contribution of culture to the EU after 2020.'
After an informal lunch meeting of sports ministers with the President of UEFA, Mr Čeferin, to discuss the future of club and national team competitions, the Council adopted conclusions on promoting the common values of the EU through sports. Ministers then held a policy debate on the commercialisation of elite sports and the sustainability of the European model of sport. Ministers discussed in particular the challenges faced by the European model and how to ensure that sport in Europe preserves its nature and strong foundations.
The Council was also informed about the latest meetings of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the declaration 'For a Europe of sport' and the work programme of the incoming Austrian presidency.
Commenting on the agenda topics, Minister Kralev said:
'Young people and sport play a key role in building secure and cohesive societies, addressing societal changes and promoting the common values of the EU. It is our duty to empower our youth and to create the right conditions for sport to play its role in society.'
In his presentation, Mr Čeferin pointed out that UEFA and EU have a shared understanding that the healthy and sustainable development of sports is founded on the principles of community and solidarity. He expressed UEFA's support for further extending collaboration and cooperation with the EU and for encouraging a similar degree of cooperation at national level.
More information about today’s meeting is available here.
Pictures and videos are available here.