The fourth edition of the Study Days of the ECR Group at the European Committee of the Regions took place in Kraków, the capital of Małopolska region, on 8 April, bringing together numerous speakers including Polish Secretary of State Andrzej Gut-Mostowy, Tomasz Poręba MEP, Matteo Bianchi MP, and Michał Langer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the European Games. The event was hosted by Witold Kozłowski, Marshal of Małopolska region and focused on organisation of financing sport by local and regional governments.
Participants in the panel "organisation of sport events by local and regional authorities – a noble idea or business?" discussed, among other things, the risks associated with the organisation of such events, how to encourage world famous athletes to take part, and the extent to which sporting events brought added value to residents, both economically and socially.
The second discussion panel "financing of sporting events/infrastructure by local governments" focused on important issues related to the creation of modern, self-financing sports infrastructure, as well as experiences in applying for European and national funding for sports infrastructure. Participants also discussed the ways that local and regional authorities can use their infrastructure to generate additional benefits, besides the organisation of sporting activities such as registration points for refugees as is the case at the moment, or as testing centres in the height of the COVID pandemic.
"Thanks to the Study Days, we can share our best practices in different areas. It is no coincidence that it is in Małopolska region that we are talking about the organisation of sporting events by local authorities and the development of functional sports infrastructure," said Władysław Ortyl, President of the ECR CoR Group and Marshal of Podkarpackie region.
The organisation of the ECR CoR Group Study Days in Małopolska region was inspired by the upcoming 3rd European Games 2023. Małopolska region and the city of Kraków were selected to organise this high-level multinational sporting event, aimed at Europe's top athletes and promoting the highest values of sport and the Olympic movement.
"For Małopolska, the European Games are an opportunity to develop and promote the region as the capable host of such a prestigious sporting event. One of the main ideas is for the people of the region to benefit from this project and for the Games to be an unforgettable sporting experience for them. In addition, many localities in the region will be able to count on new infrastructure investments. Our meeting in Kraków is therefore the next stage in preparing this exceptional event," stressed Marshal Witold Kozłowski, the event host.
The ECR CoR Group Study Days participants also visited the Tauron Arena and the transport hub for refugees in Olkusz. It was here that a previously closed platform was rapidly put into operation and became the first stop for Ukrainians fleeing the war. The Małopolska regional government financed the creation of a pavilion to act as a reception point for war refugees from Ukraine. Warm meals, refreshments, rest facilities and a space for children are also provided there.
Press release in Polish and pictures: Kraków. Dni Studyjne Grupy EKR » Małopolska (www.malopolska.pl)