On November 24 in Strasbourg, Members of the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed a report on EU sports policy that calls for a European sports model based on “solidarity, inclusiveness, open competition and fairness.” 597 MEPs voted in favour, 36 voted blank and 55 against.
The rapporteur of the report, Thomas Frankowski (EPP, Poland), a former professional football player. The MEP highlighted the need for "more visibility at the EU level to enhance cooperation". Frankowski also added that the health and safety of athletes should be at the centre of sports policy and that countries, where values and human rights are systematically breached, should be banned from hosting big sports events.
Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, was also present in the plenary debate and along with Frankowski during the introduction. The Commission's Vice-President congratulated the rapporteur and highlighted that this report "represents the future of EU sports policy" and that the European Sports Model should be protected in face of breakaway competitions such as the European Super League.
A dozen of MEPs intervened during the debate, with the majority supporting the report, highlighting its benefits in terms of access to sport education and training, economic and social benefits as well as pandemic recovery. Viola von Cramon (S&D) is the only MEP to have explicitly mentioned the scandal around the disappearance of the Chinese tennis player, Peng Shuai, insisting on the need to protect athletes.
After great cooperation with MEPs involved in drafting the report, the EOC EU Office is very satisfied with the Frankowski report and looks forward to a more inclusive, safe and accessible future for sports in Europe.