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Table tennis match with the EU branded signage in the background. Table tennis match with the EU branded signage in the background.
European Union Funded Projects
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.

Current Projects

The Inclusive Healthy Lifestyle Groups in Schools (IHLGIS) is funded through the EU4 Health Programme. The project promotes healthy lifestyles in schools for students with and without intellectual disabilities (ID).
Special Olympics Operation Safeguard is funded through EU Erasmus+ programme and will support the implementation of safeguarding across the SOEE region. While most safeguarding policies focus on children and youth, it is essential to protect vulnerable adults with intellectual disability (ID) also and this project will focus on correcting this.
The Environmental Sustainability Impact project breaks new ground as it focuses on how to make Special Olympics events and operations more environmentally sustainable. Funded through Erasmus, the project will last for 24 months in total, finishing on the 30th November 2024.
The Unified Spikes project focuses on the development of Unified Volleyball and creating pathways for National Programmes to develop female volleyball teams.
The EU has supported multiple editions of the Special Olympics World Summer Games, most recently at Berlin 2023, as well as World Winter Games and European Games.
This Special Olympics Belgium-led project is funded through the Erasmus+ programme and SOEE are a key partner. Special Olympics role is to advise the professional football clubs in the project on how to develop coaching programmes and football teams for people with intellectual disabilities.
Led by The International Council of Coaching Excellence, this initiative aims to increase the participation of young girls in sports. The project commenced in July 2022 and is scheduled to conclude by June 30, 2025.
The Young Integrity Ambassadors Programme (YIAP) receives funding from Erasmus+. The European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO) leads this project, with the participation of SO Europe Eurasia Foundation to ensure representation for youth with intellectual disabilities (ID).
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!

"We extend our immense gratitude to the European Union for their unwavering support to our mission and athletes. Through a shared commitment and dedication to inclusion throughout Europe, Special Olympics and the European Union have empowered the lives of countless individuals with and without intellectual disabilities alike, both on and off the field of play. Together, we are not only shaping a more inclusive present but also building a future where every individual can contribute, thrive, and shine-breaking barriers and forging a stronger, more inclusive Europe. The commitment of the European Union serves as a beacon of hope for millions, driving and encouraging Special Olympics to achieve even greater milestones as part of this remarkable journey of discovery, acceptance and unity,”
David Evangelista, SOEE President and Managing Director

Recent Project News

European Sports Conference Paves the Way for a More Inclusive Future in Sports

Bi-annual Gathering Unites Over 100 Sports Leaders from 40+ National Programs in Torino, Italy
2 Min Read

Special Olympics Malta Athlete Leader Gilmour Borg Speaks At EU World Mental Health Day Conference

Special Olympics Health Messenger Gilmour Borg shared his compelling journey from enduring bullying to emerging as an Athlete Leader, at the European Union's (EU) World Mental Health Conference in Brussels, Belgium.
2 Min Read

Erasmus+ Funded Special Olympics Operation Safeguard Project Advances in Estonia

Key discussions held on safeguarding progress and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities
1 Min Read
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