Representatives of Europe’s sport movement and Sport Ministers met at the EU Sport Forum, organised by the European Commission in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 19-20 September.
The Forum, which coincides with an informal meeting of EU Sport Ministers, discussed issues such as the contribution of sport to the EU economy, future EU funding for grass-roots sport, and the promotion of physical activity and active ageing.
“Sport is an important part of life for millions of people in Europe. I am committed to promoting sport and physical activity for all ages. An active lifestyle is key to our health and well-being. Unfortunately, sport also faces many challenges today. Funding at EU level can help to address issues with cross-border repercussions such as match-fixing, sport-related violence, intolerance and gender inequality,” said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for sport.
The European Commission has proposed a sport chapter as part of Erasmus for All, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. The proposed budget for sport is €34 million a year on average between 2014 and 2020. Support will be given to transnational projects aimed at boosting the exchange of know-how and good practices, non-commercial European sport events of major importance and work to strengthen the evidence base for policy-making in sport. The main beneficiaries will be public bodies and civil society organisations active in grass-roots sport.
The Sport Forum also showcased EU-funded projects implemented during the past two years, aimed at supporting the fight against doping, access to sport for the disabled, gender equality, physical activity, volunteering in sport, the fight against violence and intolerance in sport, social inclusion of immigrants, and the promotion of good governance in sport. Since 2009 the Commission provided more than €12 million in support of such projects in these and other areas.
Rainer Husty, Executive Member of the Confederation of European Baseball, joined the meeting of behalf of CEB. He said: “It was a very interesting event. I was really surprised that most of these projects were organised by “social organisations”, sometimes conducted by Sport federations. CEB has to think about this. In the new funding period starting 2014 I believe it will be easier to apply for projects like “BeeBall education in Europe” or “Promoter Courses”.