The development of an EU policy of sport moves up a gear following the end of the consulation period on 1 June. The consultation process is timely following the publication of Eurobarometer report showing that one in three Europeans never exercise.
Sport is a new area for the EU. The Lisbon Treaty, which came into force last December 2009, provided it with competence in this field. Aimed at developing a European dimension of sport, this new so-called ‘soft’ competence will allow the Union ‘to elaborate EU Sports Programmes and better promote issues related to sport and physical activity in other policy areas such as health and education’.
Last month, the EU also put out a call for sport-related proposals – ideas for future EU actions in this field based on the priorities set in the White Paper on Sport agreed in Madrid in March.
The proposals should support transnational projects put forward by public bodies or civil society organisations to identify and test suitable networks and good practices in three specific areas:
- Action against doping
- Promoting social inclusion in and through sport
- Promoting volunteering in sport
Among the EU’s other sport-related plans for 2010 is: a European Parliament hearing on EU sport competence scheduled for spring; the first EU Sports Council to be held in May; and a European Commission Communication on the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on sport in mid-2010.