How important are the European sport awards for cities?
On the occasion of the presentation of Sofia and Budapest (respectively 2018 and 2019 European Capitals of Sport) achievements, on 18 June, MEPs’, European Commission officials, representatives of National Representations and EU sport organisations gathered to discuss the benefits of the European sport awards for citizens. The event wast hosted at ACES Europe’s premises, in Brussels.
In his opening speech, ACES Europe President, Gian Francesco Lupattelli invited the attendees to the annual event of ACES Europe that is set to take place end of November 2019 at the European Parliament.
Andrey Kovatchev, Bulgaria MEP, thanked ACES Europe for its commitment to promote sports, for the last 20 years. As he said, through ACES initiatives, millions of people are motivated to participate to sports activities. Furthermore, local authorities are incentivated to invest more in sport infrastructures.
Representing Sofia municipality, Anatoli Iliev and Damyan Dikov remarked that, overall, hundreds of activities have been taking place in 2019, in Sofia, engaging over 58% of the local population.
Nicoletta Hosso, ACES Delegate in Hungary, reported that sport is at the center of the Hungarian government agenda. She also presented the sport’s programme and achievements of Budapest.
During the event, promotional videos of candidate Capitals of Sport 2023 were projected, as indicated below:
– Genoa, presented by Isabella Tovaglieri, MEP and promoter of Genoa’s candidature
– Krivyi Rih, introduced by Ivan Kovalenko, Director of the city’s Sports Department.
In her closing speech, Marisa Fernandez Esteban, Deputy Head of Sport Unit at the European Commission, said that the latter shares ACES Europe values, adding that the budget for sports projects is expected to double over the next years. She also expressed the willingness of the Sport Unit to continue their cooperation with ACES Europe.