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EU Sports Ministers and National Olympic Committee Presidents adopt Joint Declaration

The Sports Ministers and Presidents of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the EU Member States and the countries of the Western Balkans, the President of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) and the representatives of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees adopted today, 17 March 2008, a Joint Declaration on ‘Social Significance and Dialogue in Sport’. “With the adoption of the Joint Declaration, we have made remarkable progress in the area of sport, since this is the first time that we have joined together with the civil authorities to underline the importance and significance of sport in the society and call for closer cooperation between all the responsible institutions,” commented the meeting’s chairman, Dr Milan Zver, the Slovenian Minister for Sport and Education, on the successful outcome. “Enhanced dialogue with the civil sports authorities is urgently needed, given that sport is a multi-facetted domain with many positive effects. I therefore hope that the today’s joint meeting with the Presidents of the National Olympic Committees becomes a tradition,” added the Minister.

In the Joint Declaration, the Ministers and the Presidents of the National Olympic Committees undertook to strengthen intercultural dialogue, emphasised the importance of education and the socialising role of sport, underlined the social importance of sports organisations and specifically underlined the responsible and active approach of all the interested parties in the area of sport.

In the morning session, the Ministers for Sport emphasised the importance of actively implementing the White Paper, the ‘Pierre de Coubertin’ Action Plan and drafting the programme for sport. “The programme for sport should provide a new dimension and new opportunities to progress,” stressed Dr Milan Zver, the current President of the Education, Youth and Culture Council. The Ministers undertook to ensure that the EU took a more appropriate position in the World Anti-Doping Organization and noted the establishment of a new working group on combating doping, which will help coordinate and improve the effectiveness of cooperation in combating doping at EU level.

After the meeting, Dr Zver presented a special award to NLB League ABA Sidro, the regional basketball league operators, acknowledging their efforts and achievements in bringing diverse cultures together through sport. They have provided an exceptionally positive example of the role of sport in modern society and, considering that 2008 is the Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the operation of the league can be considered a model of good practice in that area too.


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Date: 21.03.2008