Sport for all across Europe

Yesterday Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou presented excellent new proposals to promote sport across the European Union. The main aim is to encourage sport at grassroots level, and athletes, sport organisations and the general public are expected to benefit from the plans.

Commissioner Vassiliou told a special press conference, “Sport is important for Europe’s economy….. The measures we have adopted today highlight sport’s contribution to our society and will help improve the way sport is run.”

The Commission’s paper “Developing the European Dimension in Sport”, covers three main areas: the role of sport in everyday life, its economic dimension, and the organisation of sport.

The main proposals will:

  • Consider EU accession to the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe
  • Develop European guidelines on combined sports training and general education
  • Develop and implement security arrangements and safety requirements for international sport events
  • Continue progress toward national guidelines
  • Develop standards for accessibility of sport organisations, activities, events and venues
  • Promote women’s access to leadership positions in sport.
  • Support sporting associations to establish mechanisms for the collective selling of media rights to ensure adequate redistribution of revenues;
  • Find ways of exchanging good practices for transparent and sustainable sport financing          
  • Look at how sport can be better funded from the Structural Funds
  • Work towards comparable statistical data on sport for all Member States
  • Promote good governance in sport while taking into account its specific nature
  • Launch a study on transfer rules and provide guidance on that basis
  • Issue guidance on how to reconcile EU rules on the free movement of citizens with the organisation of competitions in individual sports on a national basis
  • Consider further action regarding the activities of sports agents
  • Support social partners and sport organisations to create an EU-level social dialogue for the sport and leisure sector

 I am very much looking forward to debating the Commission’s plans in the Culture and Education Committee. This is a strong initiative on sport and will benefit very many people across Europe. Since the proposals cover grassroots sport while also looking at ways at ending some of the problematic behaviour associated with some games at the professional level, the Commission document is both timely and comprehensive.  The Culture Committee will, I am sure, look at all aspects of sport with a view to improving on the current situation.

1 Comment

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One response to “Sport for all across Europe

  1. Daniel Oxley

    The heading to this post says Sport for all across Europe. I presume this ‘all’ includes me but it is none of the EU Commissioner’s business whether or not I participate in sports. If I want to do more sport or less sport I can decide and I am quite capable of making the arrangements without her interference.

    The point about sport being important to the economy is valid but the sports industry, like any industry does not flourish by being taxed. Any business in the EU would do better without corporate tax, the uniform business rate, employer’s contribution to National Insurance, etc. So why are all these taxes applied to fund among other things Androulla Vassiliou’s outrageous salary and that of all her assistants, press officers, etc?

    If we did not have to pay for all these unwanted, unproductive and unelected people, we would all have more money in our pockets and access to sporting activities would be cheaper. We might all be able to afford to play Polo!

    This would be anathema to the EU of course. How they would hate people making their own choices, showing initiate and leaving the EU with fewer opportunities to ‘known what’s best for us’ and to ‘tell us what to do’.

    I do take the point about aspects of sport needing international cooperation but ‘international’ doesn’t just mean the EU. The EU will just be a barrier to actual global cooperation.