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Partners of the Movement

European Union

European Union – A Committed Supporter of Special Olympics
Table tennis players playing, the EU logo is in the background.

Since 2010, the European Union (EU) has been a key supporter of Special Olympics across Europe/Eurasia, which has allowed Special Olympics to continue to grow and expand its activities in the region. From supporting several editions of the Special Olympics World Games and European Games to grassroots initiatives focused on health and sport, the EU’s support has added significant support to our strategy in the region. Special Olympics aligns closely with the EU’s desire to promote inclusion, participation in sport, volunteering, health and to give access to people with disabilities to more opportunities in society. SOEE applies for funding to the EU through its SO Europe Eurasia Foundation entity which is set up to apply and administer EU grants. To view current Special Olympics projects funded by the EU please visit European Union Funded Projects.

Previous to this, the EU funded the Getting Every Girl on the Pitch project (2019) to include more girls/women with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Special Olympics football.

The EU also supported the Youth Unified Basketball tournament in Sansepolcro, Italy in November 2022

The EU have also been a vital supporter of Special Olympics Regional and World Games in the Europe/Eurasia region:

  1. 2010 European Games – Warsaw
  2. 2011 World Summer Games - Athens
  3. 2014 European Summer Games – Belgium
  4. 2017 World Winter Games – Austria
  5. 2020 Test Games – Winter – Sweden
  6. 2023 World Summer Games - Berlin

The support of the EU has been vital in developing the capacity and reach of our sports programming across the SOEE region. The impact of the EU support goes well beyond the 27 countries that make up the EU making its support for the region, hugely beneficial.

Supporting Special Olympics Health Initiatives

People with intellectual disabilities have a 40% higher risk of developing secondary preventable health conditions. As well as having more specialised health care needs, they face greater difficulty accessing health care services, and health care professionals, compared to the wider general public. The European Union recognises that Special Olympics is the continent’s largest public health organisation and is dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities. Through the EU4Health Programme, the EU is funding the Inclusive Healthy Lifestyle Groups in Schools project (IHLGIS).

Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 - Highlights
Relive inspiring moments of our remarkable Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia athletes at the World Games Berlin 2023. Their brilliance continues to shine two months after the Closing Ceremony. Join us in celebrating their achievements!

Note: The content of this web page represents the views of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia only and is our sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.