A report published by the UK’s House of Lords, at the beginning of April, argued Sport should be granted specific funding from the EU budget as it helps to deliver major policy objectives in areas like health, education and employment.
After a new competency on sports policy granted by The Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission, published last January a Communication “Developing the European Dimension in Sport“, which set the main objectives of the European sports policy. Although sports policy took an encouraging dimension in the EU program with the new competency and the Communication, sports stakeholders pointed out the lack of sport budged and underlined that sport should be taken into account.
The report, entitled “Grassroots Sport and the European Union“, underlines the potential of sport for European citizens and highlight the contribution that grassroots sport can make to society:
“The EU should include sport in its work on digital piracy and should look further at whether the gambling industry should be required to pay a ‘fair return’ to sport.” The report also mentioned legislation to be applied to sport should “ensures the sustainability of grassroots sport, particularly its revenue streams from the broadcasting of professional sport”. “The voice of grassroots as well as professional sport needs to be heard in Brussels. Dialogue between the [European] Commission and sports organisations needs to be made more representative.” “We recommend the Commission put in place measures to better inform grassroots organisations about work being undertaken at EU level and the opportunities available to them.”
Societal Benefits of sport can be strongly developed but studies, analysis and data should be carried out to bring out the positive impact of sport for the entire society. “The Commission acknowledges the potential of sport in delivering social objectives. However, wider scale studies could usefully be undertaken on social returns. If these were to be convincingly demonstrated they would provide a compelling argument for sport to be further integrated into wider policy making and delivery at both EU and Member State level whilst also strengthening the case for financial investment.” “Sport should not be regarded as a peripheral policy area. We think there is much more value to be gained if sport is viewed as a powerful and effective tool in the delivery of objectives across the policy spectrum,” said Baroness Young of Hornsey, who chaired the Lords committee. As sports programs and grassroots are unequally developed in EU member states, the Lords called on the European Commission to create a web portal to encourage exchanges of best practice and allow grassroots organisations to establish links with one another.sportetcitoyennete
, 16th Report of Session 2010–11, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Communication Developing the European Dimension in Sport, EU budget for sports, Grassroots Sport and the European Union, UK's House of Lords