FIBA Europe Meets European Union

19 April 2005

FIBA Europe President Mr. George Vassilakopoulos and Executive Director Mr. Nar Zanolin met yesterday in Bratislava, Slovak Republic with the European Union’s Commissioner for Sport and Education, Mr. Jan Figel.

The main topic on the agenda was the proposed European constitution and its legislation over sport.

Mr. Figel stressed sport’s role in spreading health, education and social values and principles. FIBA Europe gave its views on sports as a social activity which can be used to foster relations and values across Europe.

In addition, the two parties identified certain problems that sport is facing, such as doping, hooliganism and betting.

“This meeting was a positive step in what has been a long process,” said Mr. Vassilakopoulos.

“It is very important that sport receives special status in the constitution as a social activity, and is not seen merely from an economic standpoint. This will help to protect the future activities of our sport in Europe.

“I would like to thank the Slovak Federation for their help in setting up this meeting.”

In addition to the constitution, FIBA Europe informed Mr. Figel of plans in 2006 to launch the Year of Women’s Basketball. This project will see a sustained programme of promotional activities for women’s basketball over the course of the year, culminating in the 2007 Eurobasket Women in Italy.

FIBA Europe asked for the European Union’s assistance with this project and will present a more detailed plan at a future meeting.

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