Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FIDE meetings with EU in Brussels

Secretary of the FIDE EVE Commission member, ECU Board Member Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou visited visited Brussels from 15 to 17 of October for a series of meetings and conferences.

Mr. Tsorbatzoglou ‘s arrival in Brussels was multi purposed. On Tuesday 16th in the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Berlaymont Building) a two hours working technical meeting was organized between European Commission of Education and Culture, represented by Mr. Zenon Severis Member of Commissioner’s Cabinet with responsibilities in Sports and Youth, and the FIDE EVE Commission represented by Mr. Tsorbatzoglou. As FIDE EVE Commission has announced, among its plans is to create a constant info center for all chess federations, clubs, and chess organizations regarding EU funding programs and actions. The first step is to build a network bridge between the Commission and the chess world. In the meeting were presented, discussed and analyzed the following items:

1. The current EU Commission Sports Structure & operation
2. The networking between EU Commission and International Sports Organizations
3. FIDE actions and official Events
4. FIDE Chess In School Program which funds pilot programs in Europe and worldwide
5. EU funding programs – Preparatory actions and Special Events
6. Future EU Sports Policy and coming programs. 


At the meeting were discussed the two new proposals from EU Commission: 

A. Erasmus for All – the new EU program for education, training, youth and sport.

B. Creative Europe – the new EU program dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors.


Both proposals and budgets are now under discussion in the Council of EU Ministers and the European Parliament. The proposed budget for sports is €34 million a year on average between 2014 and 2020. Support will be given to transnational projects aimed at boosting the exchange of know-how and good practices, non-commercial European sport events of major importance, and work to strengthen the evidence base for policy-making in sport. For any of those funding programs of the European Union an open call of interest or bids is published. All the projects and studies, including the ones in the field of chess, are open to eligible organizations and need multinational partnership.

Chessdom.com interviewed Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou about the meetings
Mr. Tsorbatzoglou, what was the purpose of the meetings in Brussels?

The meeting in EU Commission has the purpose of networking with Sports directions and Key officers. We will be ready soon to create an info center for chess organizations.

Was there connection between the meetings and the declaration adopted by the MEPs and ECU earlier this year?

The declaration in European Parliament with the important help of Garry Kasparov and many federations is applying mostly to National Ministries and Parliaments to adopt chess in school programs. EU Commission is not involved in National Educational programs and can not fund ad-hoc projects. My meetings was mostly related with EU Sports policy and actions. But i informed the Commission also about our progress in chess in school programs.

Are only national federations or all chess organizations (clubs, tournaments) open for the programs of EU?

The EU programs are competitive and open to all eligible organizations. There are open also for countries which are not EU members. An open call of interest is necessary for any European program. Especially for the period 2014 and 2020 the EU Commission has an ambitious plan for sports proposing a 34m budget annually. These proposals and budgets are now in discussion in European Parliament and European Council for approval.

What are the next steps in the process?

With EU we will create a constant bridge of communication and through professional work and specialized people we will create a new funding source for chess activities which are eligible for EU actions and targets.

As FIDE EVE commission we have other important plans also. Right now we are in contacts with major fashion companies in Italy. I will reveal more details in the near future.

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