Sport has an enormous power to integrate people regardless of race, religion, gender, culture or socio-economic status. It is an increasingly important economic sector, accounting for almost 3% of GDP in Europe. At the same time, sport is at an important crossroads. More than 10 years have passed since the Lisbon Treaty gave the European Union a mandate to act in the area of sport. The EU Sport Policy report, adopted today in the plenary chamber in Strasbourg with an overwhelming majority of 597 votes, aims to show the way forward for the future of European sports policy.
"Sport not only changes the world, but allows many people to change their lives. As a former professional footballer and now an MEP, I am certainly an example of this. Sport helps us stay healthy and happy and teaches us valuable skills at any age. That's why it's so important to be physically active every day throughout our lives to fight off disease and improve the quality of our lives." -underlined Tomasz Frankowski, the author of the document.
According to MEPs, sport and its values need more visibility and action in the EU. In order to achieve this, cooperation between all institutions, member states and organisations involved in sport is crucial. The report highlights the need for a new approach to managing sport, involving representatives of federations, leagues, clubs, associations, sportspeople, supporters and volunteers. They should work together to develop objectives and a coherent action plan for the future.
To this end, sport should benefit from an increased share of funding not only from the cohesion policy but also from the new instrument for recovery and resilience. Ensuring additional funding for sport is of the utmost importance. In future programmes, such as Erasmus+, sport should receive even more funding
"There are many challenges facing sport, such as the fight against match-fixing, corruption, discrimination or doping. Another challenge is to move towards a sustainable and innovative future. Sport organisations need to align their activities with EU climate and environmental goals. Specific measures for organisational diversity and social inclusion must also be put in place. We need to provide more managerial positions for women in sport," - Frankowski said.
Cooperation is also key to promoting a model of sport in Europe that is open to all, based on values, solidarity, fairness and open competitions. MEPs therefore believe that European sport must be protected from closed competitions of elite clubs such as the European Super League. The right balance must be found between the pursuit of commercial interests and the social functions of sport.
"Today's vote shows that this value-based European model has not only the full support of fans, sports organisations but also of the European Parliament, which is sending a strong signal to the sports sector. I am proud of this report, which is the result of extensive consultation and great teamwork" - added Tomasz Frankowski.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States