EU Work Plan for Sport, usually established for a period of 3 years, frames concrete aims and activities for sport policy at EU level. Adopted by the Sport Ministers Council, and implemented mainly by the European Commission and the Presidencies of Council of the EU, the Work Plan serves as a roadmap for all relevant stakeholders. The current document will come to the end of its implementation at the end of 2020 and the German Presidency (1 July – 31 December 2020) is gearing up to lead the discussions about the content of the EU Work Plan for Sport beyond 2020.
The EOC EU Office has been actively involved in the discussions and implementation of all EU Work Plans for Sport since the creation of this instrument in 2011, and this time will not be different. After an in-depth consultation of its partner organisations (first written comments in February 2020, Webinar on 4 June 2020 followed up by a written procedure), the EOC EU Office prepared an extensive Position Paper presenting its recommendations to the Members States and the Commission. The Paper outlines and suggests:
- Three general recommendations: (1) Tackle the real challenges of sport; (2) Involve and engage the Olympic sport movement, (3) Mainstream sport in other policy areas.
- Improvements and changes to the current working methods: (1) improved coherence between the different working methods; (2) creation of a stronger link between the Work Plan and the Erasmus+ Programme – establishment of common projects; (3) Expert Groups to be established with clear tasks, clear selection of observers, and set-up of possible smaller “working groups” preparing the particular outputs; (4) continuation of the activities of Groups of Interested Member States and peer learning activities; and (5) set-up of new methods for structured dialogue with the sport movement, including “EU Sport Summit”.
- Arguments for the inclusion of new topics on the agenda: Safeguarding the European Sport Model, Overcoming the crisis caused by Covid-19, Environmental sustainability, Sport infrastructure, and Olympic values and ideals as part of the “European way of life”.
Furthermore, the EOC EU Office suggests maintaining the traditional division of topics into three pillars and working on a specific follow-up to the current activities:
- Integrity - safe sport and gender equality
- Economic dimension of sport - improving information and evidence base
- Societal role - grassroots sport and its societal role
The Position Paper is so far endorsed and co-signed by 27 partner organisations of the EOC EU Office, including international sport organisations such as IOC, ASOIF and International Ice Hockey Federation, European organisations such as EOC, FIBA Europe, European Handball Federation, European Athletics Association, CEV, LEN, Rugby Europe, ENGSO, and 14 National Olympic Committees (Belgium, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Cyprus, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway) and two other national organisations (RF and DFB). The Position Paper was presented to the Member States’ Sport Directors during their online meeting on 25 June 2020, and shared with the Member States representatives and the Commission Sport Unit.
The European Commission is expected to publish its appraisal of the implementation of the current Work Plan at the beginning of July. Based on this document and on the outcomes of the Sport Directors meeting, the German Presidency will launch the negotiations on the EU Work Plan for Sport beyond 2020, which should be adopted by the Sport Ministers Council on 1 December 2020.
Read the Position Paper of the EOC EU Office here ...