European Games confirmed for Poland in 2023

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) has confirmed that the Malopolska region and the city of Krakow, Poland, will host the third edition of the European Games in 2023.

The decision received the unanimous approval of delegates attending the EOC’s extraordinary general assembly on Saturday, which was held a day after the opening ceremony for the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus.

Malopolska and Krakow appeared set to land the 2023 edition of the multi-sport event after the EOC confirmed it was the sole bidder earlier this month. The final deadline for the submission of the completed candidature documents for the Games passed on May 31. The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Poland was the only application received by the EOC.

“We strongly believe that this great multi-sport event will contribute to the development of European sport,” said Polish NOC president Andrzej Krasnicki. “And also promote our country, Poland, the city of Krakow, and the Malopolska region.”

Both sides are now laying the basic cornerstones for the organisation of the European Games, with the EOC emphasising that there will be no need to build any new infrastructure, using only existing venues and existing accommodation for the athletes.

The EOC and the organisers will decide the sports programme together, aiming for a proper balance between traditional and new sports, and also taking into account the sports the local organisers may want on the programme. The staging of the 2024 summer Olympic Games in Paris is also set to be a key consideration when drawing up the sports programme for the 2023 European Games.

“We will follow the strategy defined in Olympic Agenda 2020,” EOC president Janez Kocijančič said. “That means we will determine the core sports and then discuss with the organisers which other sports to include, with emphasis on those offering Olympic qualifications and European Championships.

“The Olympic Games are returning to Europe the following year, so we would like to have a sports programme with very strong Olympic qualification as we aim to defend our position as the leading continent in international sport.”

Minsk was confirmed as host of the 2019 Games in October 2016. The event had initially been due to take place in the Netherlands but the country pulled out amid financial concerns. The inaugural edition of the European Games was held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015.