European Games

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European Games
European Games logo.jpg

The European Games is an international multi-sport event in the Olympic tradition contested by athletes from European nations. The Games were envisioned and are to be governed by the European Olympic Committees (EOC), which announced their launch at its 41st General Assembly in Rome, on 8 December 2012.[1] The 2015 European Games, the first edition of the event, took place in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2015, and further editions are planned every four years thereafter.

The European Games are the final continental Games to be initiated, after the Asian Games, Pan-American Games, Pacific Games and All-Africa Games. As of 2015, every continent will have a continental games in the Olympic tradition.[2]

The European Games are not related to the European Sports Championships, an event organised by individual European sports federations, bringing together the individual European championships of athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing and triathlon under a single 'brand' on a four-yearly cycle beginning in 2018.[3]


Main article: European Games sports

The following sports have been confirmed for the first event in Baku in 2015.[4][5]

Medal count[edit]

No. Nation Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Russia (RUS) 1 79 40 45 164
2  Azerbaijan (AZE) 1 21 15 20 56
3  Great Britain (GBR) 1 18 10 19 47
4  Germany (GER) 1 16 17 33 66
5  France (FRA) 1 12 13 18 43
6  Italy (ITA) 1 10 26 11 47
7  Belarus (BLR) 1 10 11 22 43
8  Ukraine (UKR) 1 8 14 24 46
9  Netherlands (NED) 1 8 12 9 29
10  Spain (ESP) 1 8 11 11 30
11  Hungary (HUN) 1 8 4 8 20
12  Serbia (SRB) 1 8 4 3 15

Host nations and cities[edit]

Map of European Games locations (host cities in red dots).
Edition Year Host city Host nation Start date End date Sports Events Nations Athletes Main venue Ref
 I  2015 Azerbaijan Baku Azerbaijan 12 June 28 June 20 253 50 5,898 Baku National Stadium [6]
II 2019 Future event

Withdrawal of the Netherlands[edit]

In June 2015 it was reported that the Netherlands had withdrawn as hosts of the 2019 European Games, having been selected in May 2015. It was reported that "the plan failed to earn enough support from The Netherlands' Sports Minister Edith Schippers, the Provinces and Municipalities".[7][8]


The Games have been criticised for being an unnecessary addition to the sporting calendar and for the lack of high quality in totem events such as athletics and swimming; moreover, the first edition of the Games has received significant criticism for being hosted by a despotic regime. Nick Cohen, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom argued that Patrick Hickey, EOC President set up the European Games despite there being "no need for them." Cohen argued that -

"Olympic sports already have their European championships. But – and you will only understand the seedy imperative that drives a disgraceful tournament when you grasp this – the European Olympic committees do not control the rival competitions."[9]

According to Cohen, Hickey had initially tried to get Belarus to host the event, giving Alexander Lukashenko an award for his 'Outstanding Contribution to the Olympic Movement'. However, Belarus was too poor to afford the games.[9] Instead Hickey turned to Azerbaijan which wanted to "win international prestige."[9]

The Games also received heavy criticism from organisations such as Sport for Rights calling for athletes to speak out against human rights violations in Azerbaijan. Many regime opponents were jailed in the run-up to the Games.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EOC LAUNCHES EUROPEAN GAMES". 8 December 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Baku 2015 at a glance". 1 June 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Scotland to host 2018 European Sports Championships
  4. ^ Mackay, Duncan (8 December 2012). "Baku to host first European Games in 2015". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "1st European Games". United World Wrestling. 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "European Games is given the go ahead for Baku in 2015". RTÉ Sport. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Netherlands withdraw interest in staging 2019 European Games". The Irish Times. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Mackay, Duncan (10 June 2015). "Search on for new 2019 European Games host after The Netherlands withdraw". (UK: Dunsar Media Company). Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Baku reminds us our top athletes are overgrown infants". Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 

External Links[edit]