Four European National Olympic Committees urge Games bidding process changes in Agenda 2020 submission

Tuesday, 15 July 2014
By Gary Anderson

Four European NOCs have submitted a discussion paper to the Agenda 2020 process making recommendations on the bidding and hosting of Olympic Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland have submitted a joint discussion paper to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) highlighting the challenges and issues surrounding bids for Olympic Games.

The joint submission entitled Olympic Agenda 2020 - The experience of applicants, highlights areas for discussion and makes recommendations under the three key areas of bidding for Games, costs of the Games and the scale of the Games.

All four nations had made initial bids for upcoming Olympic Games that ultimately failed and the paper is intended to draw attention to the problems faced by bidding cities and suggest ways of making the process more appealing.

St Moritz and Davos in Switzerland and Munich in Germany had announced plans to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, but the bids were shelved following a public referendum which voted against the plans last year.

Munich failed in its bid to land the 2018 Winter Olympics after finishing second behind South Korean winner Pyeongchang, while Germany's bid for the 2012 Summer Games ended when Leipzig was eliminated before the candidature phase of the contest.

Earlier this year, Stockholm also dropped its bid for the 2022 Winter Games following a decision by the Swedish capital's ruling Moderate party not to back the campaign because of the potential cost of building new facilities.

That was followed by another "no" vote in a referendum in Polish city Kraków in May, while Ukraine's Lviv pulled out of the race in June due to the ongoing political instability in the country.

That left Kazakhstan city Almaty, Chinese capital Beijing and Oslo in Norway as the three cities put through to the candidature stage of the contest by the IOC earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Vienna's plans to bid for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games were also scrapped after more than 70 per cent of the public voted against it in a referendum in March last year.

German city Munich has been unsuccessful in its attempts to bid for the next two Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesGerman city Munich has been unsuccessful in its attempts to bid for the next two Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©AFP/Getty Images



All four NOCs suggest that the main reason for the lack of political and public support for these bids is the potential costs of running a bid and then hosting the Games should they be successful.

They say this is exacerbated by a lack of understanding and calls for a rethink surrounding bidding procedure in order to reduce complexity and increase transparency and flexibility for potential bid cities.

The paper sights the need for better communication of the benefits of bidding and hosting the Games and calls for a shortening of the bid process.

In terms of the cost of staging an Olympic Games, there are calls for a more transparent budget structure with a greater emphasis on the IOC's financial contribution, while it also suggests the costs of staging the Games should be clearly divided between the public and private sector.

Regarding the scale of Games, the paper recommends the IOC applies a more flexible approach to the sports concepts of bid cities.

This would include a lowering of the IOC's standard venue capacities in order to make maximum use of already existing venues, while also allowing bid cities to allocate a specific venue in another city or country.

It also recommends that cities should have to develop a "legacy concept" similar to their venue concept and the IOC should supervise its execution.

The sun set on any potential 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympics Games bid from Stockholm when the plan was scrapped in January due to concern over costs ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe sun set on any potential 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympics Games bid from Stockholm when the plan was scrapped in January due to concern over costs
©AFP/Getty Images



The paper, which has been compiled with assistance of the German events proposal firm PROPROJEKT/AS & P, was signed by Austrian Olympic Committee secretary general, Peter Mennel; German Olympic Sports Confederation director general, Michael Vesper; President of the Swedish Olympic Committee, Stefan Lindeberg and Swiss Olympic Association President, Jörg Schild.

In a joint statement following the submission of the document the four men said: "We are all part of the Olympic Movement.

"We believe in the Olympic values, the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and the diverse potential of the Olympic Games for sustainable urban, regional and sports development.

"Our proposals aim to strengthen the Olympic values, reduce the complexity of the Games and increase the sustainability, transparency and flexibility for future Olympic candidates.

"The requirements for applicants and the application process must be designed so that in the future more nations can bring successful applications on the way."

DOSB director general Michael Vesper is one of the signatories on the paper submitted to the IOC as part of the Agenda 2020 review ©Getty Images DOSB director general Michael Vesper is one of the signatories on the paper submitted to the IOC as part of the Agenda 2020 review ©Getty Images



The Olympic Agenda 2020 review was launched by IOC President Thomas Bach shortly after he was elected as Jacque Rogge's replacement at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires last September.

Fourteen Working Groups have been set up to look into a range of areas across the Olympic Movement including the process in bidding for the Games, sports on the Olympic Programme, IOC membership, good governance and youth strategy.

The Working Groups are made up of key stakeholders, including IOC members, athletes, and figures from International Federations and National Olympic Committees, as well as representatives from Google, Transparency International and the World Bank.

All submissions to the Agenda 2020 review have now been lodged and are set to be discussed by the IOC at a number of Executive Board meetings in the coming months before the refined Olympic Agenda 2020 proposals are finally presented for discussion by the entire IOC membership and final approval at an Extraordinary Session in Monaco on December 8 and 9.

To view the Olympic Agenda 2020 - The experience of applicants paper, click here.

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February 2014: Changes to Olympic bid process on way as IOC members debate ideas
January 2014: 
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November 2013:
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March 2013: Swiss voters rejects bid for 2022 Winter Olympics
March 2013: Vienna says no to 2028 Olympic Games bid
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