Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
For many years, it has been the European Olympic Committee's dream to arrange continental multi-sport Games for Europe, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview to The Business year magazine.
Although the Olympic movement has its roots Europe, a European level all-encompassing sporting event was not in place in the continent, unlike in Asia or other regions, and to an extent, it was unfair, he said.
"We believe that Baku Games 2015 will open a new page in Europe's sports history and will create new perspectives and opportunities for cooperation," said the minister.
He went on to add that sport has a unique role to promote peace, tolerance, and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures, and religions.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place on June 12-28, 2015.
There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.
Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.