Source: European Union 2020
Sport was a key point of the EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue Policy Meeting. More than 80 participants from the EU Member States, sport movement and national sport organisations as well as representatives of Chinese public authorities and sport sector met on 9 November 2020.
Discussions touched topical issues, focusing on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Major Sport Events as well as on sharing good practices to better promote sport and physical activity. Participants outlined that international cooperation at both grassroots and professional level is now more needed than ever. Mr Etienne Thobois, Director General of Paris 2024, confirmed that “Major Sport Events are a unique opportunity to bring the world together”. Ms Xiao Junfeng, Deputy Director General of Media and Communications of the 2022 Beijing Organising Committee, underlined the role played by sport and Olympic Games in the people-to-people exchanges between the EU and China.
Panellists outlined the importance of learning from each other. Two EU funded projects presented their activities involving sport organisations from the EU and China. Discussions showed the need for sport events to engage citizens and to embrace the digital and green transition in order to turn the current crisis into an “opportunity”.
The dialogue also included a high-level meeting on 10 November 2020 between Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth and Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China.
The European Commission and the People's Republic of China launched the “EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue” (HPPD) in 2012. This initiative aims to build mutual trust and consolidate intercultural understanding through joint initiatives in the field of people-to-people exchanges.
Before 2015, sport diplomacy was an almost unexplored field for the EU. Since then, it has found its place among the EU Sport Policy priorities through the impressive work accomplished. In this context, this high-level dialogue enhances cooperation between the EU and the People's Republic of China in the field of sport.