The European Games managed by the EOC has featured Olympic quota qualifiers in 10 sports ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023

European Olympic Committees (EOC) sports director Peter Brüll has insisted here the European Games can "perfectly co-exist" with the multi-sport European Championships.

The Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games have featured 21 Olympic and eight non-Olympic sports on the programme, with 10 offering quota places for Paris 2024 Olympics.

That followed on from the second edition of the European Championships held in Munich last year featuring nine sports, in which 1.47 million visitors are reported to have experienced the sports and festival in the Olympiapark, the city centre and other venues in the Bavarian capital.

The European Championships is managed by the European Championships Management company, while the EOC oversees the European Games.

Despite the two quadrennial events being held one year apart, Slovakian official Brüll feels they can be mutually exclusive without harming each other's project, insisting the European Championships is "not a new event, it just combines the existing events of the Federations".

"Sure we can co-exist, I don't see them as a rival," he told insidethegames.

"I was in Munich last year to see what was a great competition in different sports.

"Most of the Federations that were in Munich are here now with us.

"The few that are not like rowing are because there is not a two-kilometre course, but I would make it the other way around - we are not one year after the European Championships, we are one year before the Olympics.

Peter Brüll feels the European Games can
Peter Brüll feels the European Games can "perfectly co-exist" with the multi-sport European Championships ©Getty Images

"We have the Olympic qualifiers and we want to have the connection with the Olympic Games.

"It is a totally different event from the European Championships so we can perfectly co-exist.

"The European Broadcasting Union are involved in both, they don't see it as a competition between the two events.

"We are providing to the Federations something else than the European Championships.

"It's an independent event, and I don't see any problem in co-existing."

While European Athletics plans to leave the multi-sport European Championships in favour of a standalone event in Birmingham for 2026, it has integrated its biennial European Team Championship into the European Games programme.

Kraków-Małopolska 2023 medals were available for individual events while athletes competed with their teams seeking promotion from divisions two and three or the Championship title in division one.

At Baku 2015, only the third division of the Team Championship was held in Azerbaijan's capital as part of the Games, and Minsk 2019 featured a dynamic new athletics concept, involving head-to-heads and a culminating Gundersen relay calculated on team performances up to that point.

Peter Brüll said EOC and European Athletics have settled on a format which suits both parties ©ITG
Peter Brüll said EOC and European Athletics have settled on a format which suits both parties ©ITG

However, Brüll insists the EOC and European Athletics have settled on a format which suits both parties.

"We believe this was successful and the format both us and European Athletics want to continue," he said.

"European Athletics changed the format of the European Athletics Team Championships because of the European Games because they wanted to somehow fit that event into the European Games, so they changed four divisions to three divisions to having all teams in the same place at the same time, and they were really happy with that.

"In two years from now, they have the European Athletics Team Championships in Madrid and they continue with the same format, so it is a kind of permanent change and in 2027 we will continue as we have now.

"We cannot say we had every top athlete in Europe, you never do, but we had Femke Bol one of the top athletics stars here and many others competed in the Diamond League on Friday."

Athletics competition at Kraków-Małopolska 2023 was held at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów, and concluded on Sunday (June 25).

While the level of competition was high, crowds figures were disappointing for athletics with much of the 55,211-capacity left empty across the six days of competition.

The European Games are set to conclude today.