International Relations

International Relations

Sport plays an important role in international relations. Major sporting events embody international exchange, intercultural understanding and partnership-based cooperation; they also illustrate in an exemplary way the complexity and multifaceted nature of international sports. The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), as the umbrella organisation of German sport, is part of this international family of sports and is involved in its organisation in various ways:

European Sports Politics

The close links between organised sport and EU legislation and funding opportunities through European programmes can have a significant influence on the development of sport in Germany. German sport has therefore been represented in Brussels since 1993, initially with its own office and since 2009 as a leading member of the EOC EU office. The focus is on the conceptual development, coordination and representation of the positions of German sport vis-à-vis the EU institutions. The current discussions on the future and preservation of the European sports model, the demand for more good governance in sport and the debate with commercial sports providers show the necessity to stand up for the interests of German sport at European level. In addition, EU programmes offer funding opportunities for the DOSB and its member organisations.

More information on European sport policy can be found here.

International Networking  

Cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other international non-governmental organisations as well as maintaining bilateral relations with partner organisations in Europe and worldwide is part of the DOSB international networking efforts.  

As the umbrella organisation of one of the world’s largest and most successful sports nations, the DOSB sees itself in a position of particular responsibility to contribute to the global development of sport. Thus, the DOSB helps shape European and international sports policy - out of shared responsibility for the worldwide development of sport, but also out of national interest in promoting its own positions. Only those engaged in decisive international bodies can take up international developments at an early stage and feed them into the national structures.  

For this reason, it is an important concern of the DOSB and its member organisations to become involved in the committee work of the international sports associations. Therefore, the DOSB is a member of the international associations of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), the European Umbrella Organisation of Non-Governmental Sports Organisations (ENGSO), the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the Trim and Fitness International Sport for All Association (TAFISA) and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE). Further, German representatives of organised sport and sports science are involved in numerous international bodies, above all in the commissions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Britta Heidemann was elected to the IOCs Athletes' Commission by the Olympic participants in Rio in 2016, and as President of the IOC, DOSB founding President Thomas Bach is a German at the forefront of the international sports movement.  

The DOSB's member organisations participate in the international professional associations at European and international level as well. In 2020, four international Olympic federations are chaired by German representatives (i.e. Josef Fendt, FIL; Klaus Schormann, UIPM; Thomas Weikert, ITTT; Dr Gerhard Zimmermann, WMF)

Major international sporting events  

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are an outstanding example of how athletes of different origins, skin colour and religion from more than 200 nations follow uniform sporting rules in a peaceful competition. German sport takes part in these and other major international sporting events such as the World Games and bids to host such events itself. Organising such events can lift up Germany at all levels – federal, state and local – making it even more sports-friendly and increasing its international perception as a cosmopolitan and competent host. For this reason, the DOSB is committed to the development of a national strategy for the organisation of sustainable major sporting events in Germany and endeavours to further develop the conditions for hosting such major sporting events in a way that they are broadly supported by politicians and the general public.