On 2 February 2017, the plenary session of the European Parliament adopted the report on “an integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity”. Own initiative report of the European Parliament, this report has been prepared by Hannu Takkula (ALDE Group, Finland) who confirmed during his presentation that this report will be the only document entirely dedicated to sport during the current legislative period. The report shapes the position of the European Parliament in the frame of the current discussions on the new EU Council Work Plan of Sport.
Divided in three main areas, objective of the Takkula report was to promote the role of grassroots sport and the development of physical activities in the EU. The economic contribution of sports to society, integrity and good governance in sport as well as accessibility have also been covered by the European Parliament.
Whereas issues facing by sport organisations are stressed – MEPs calls for a zero-tolerance policy towards doping and asks sport organisations to put forward concrete proposals to improve their governance – the report also recalls the specific nature of sport and underlines positive aspects of sporting activities.
The EOC EU Office and its partners worked hard to get several recommendations included, e.g. on the specific nature of sport, on the European sport model and the societal role of grassroots sport.
The Takkula report notably contains the following positive elements:
- Acknowledgment of the specific nature of sport based on voluntary structures;
- Support for the European sport model including the principle of one federation per sport and the high importance of solidarity mechanisms;
- Support to CAS system of arbitration;
- Call for the signing and ratification of the Council of Europe Conventions on the manipulation of sports competitions and security during sport events;
- Stress the societal role of sport and the importance of gender equality, dual career, protection of athletes and minors;
- Call to maintain the current system of TV rights on a centralised, exclusive and territorial basis.
Aiming at the new EU Council Work Plan on Sport, the MEPs also produced direct recommendations to the European Commission and the Council, e.g. the necessity to increase funds allocated to Erasmus+ Sport, reflexions regarding VAT exemptions for grassroots sport and activities to develop the notion of the specificity of sport.