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In Brussels, State Secretary mag. Dejan Židan presented plans in the field of sports in Slovenia

On behalf of the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, State Secretary mag. Dejan Židan participated for the first time in the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting, of which the agenda for the first day includes content in the field of sports.

The contribution of sports activities to the promotion of an active lifestyle for all ages and respect for human rights in the organisation of major international sporting events are the central themes of the meeting.

The meeting started with a working lunch, where the ministers exchanged experiences and best practices on policies to support and integrate sports activities to promote an active lifestyle at all ages. The Covid-19 pandemic has had an overall negative effect, e.g. physical efficiency of the children in primary schools. All EU member states are currently looking for ways to raise physical efficiency and increase the participation of citizens in sports and physical activity.

State Secretary mag. Dejan Židan presented the ongoing activities in Slovenia, as well as the activities envisaged to be implemented in the future, which are aimed at further increasing the accessibility of sports. He referred to the sports educational chart, based on which Slovenian schools have been assessing the physical and motor development of school children for more than three decades. “The plan for the future is to create a similar system for all generations, including adults”, emphasised Židan.

Discussions at the ministerial meeting focused on ensuring respect for human rights in the organisation of major international sporting events. State Secretary mag. Dejan Židan emphasised that human rights are indivisible and universal in sport, just as in law. This is emphasised in the joint commitment of the Council from 2021 with the adoption of the Resolution on the key features of a European Sport Model. “More than ever before, this is crucial to ensure access to sport for everyone and to ensure respect for fundamental human rights”, said Židan. “This is important both for the athletes and for the awarding and organisation of major international sporting events”. In continuation he emphasised that Slovenia fully respects the autonomy of sports: “Moreover, we believe that governments should work more closely together in strengthening international sports organisations in terms of their openness and transparency in the allocation and organisation of international sports events. It is the state who bears territorial, legal and formal responsibility for the correct preparation and implementation of sports events”. He said that in Slovenia, for example, there is an instrument of the sports ombudsman, who also deals with human rights in sports: “Similar to other countries, we are studying the possibility of establishing a special agency for the integrity of sports, because we want the procedures in sports to be fair, transparent and free of corruption”.

Under the “miscellaneous” items, State Secretary mag. Dejan Židan made a statement of support to the Ukrainian Deputy Minister and to France regarding the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 in Paris.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the State Secretary, mag. Dejan Židan attended two bilateral meetings with colleagues from Denmark and Germany. The main subject of the meetings was major international sports events, as Slovenia is currently in the process of creating professional foundations and starting points on this issue, whereby Denmark and Germany serve as examples of good practices. In Denmark, the government has established a special organisation “SportEvent Denmark”, which connects the rights holders, national federations and host cities of the sports event, thereby creating a strong partnership, which is also demonstrated by international comparisons. Germany also allocates funds to the organisation of major international sporting events, depending on whether it is an Olympic sport or not, although it does not have a specific federal law, as administrative regulations apply at the level of the federal states. The State Secretary presented the two colleagues with some examples of good practices in the field of sports in Slovenia, e.g. the already mentioned sports educational chart, and plans for the future, which are aimed mainly at ensuring sports for all.