The European Games is an international multi-sport event in the Olympic tradition contested by athletes from European nations. The Games were envisioned and are to be governed by the European Olympic Committees (EOC), which announced their launch at its 41st General Assembly in Rome, on 8 December 2012. The 2015 European Games, the first edition of the event, took place in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2015, and further editions are planned every four years thereafter. The 2019 edition is scheduled for Minsk, Belarus, having previously been awarded to the Netherlands, and Russia.
The European Games are the final continental Games to be initiated, after the Asian Games, Pan-American Games, Pacific Games and African Games. As of 2015, every continent will have a continental games in the Olympic tradition.
The European Games are not related to the European Championships, an event organised by individual European sports federations, bringing together the individual European Championships of Athletics, Swimming, Artistic Gymnastics, Cycling, Rowing, Golf and Triathlon under a single 'brand' on a four-yearly cycle beginning in 2018, and broadcast by agreement with the EBU.
The Games have been criticised for being an unnecessary addition to the sporting calendar and for the lack of high quality in totem events such as athletics and swimming. The first edition of the Games has received criticism from organisations such as Sport for Rights calling for athletes to speak out against human rights violations in Azerbaijan. Many regime opponents were jailed in the run-up to the Games.
The following sports were contested at the first event in Baku in 2015.