FESI goes an extra mile to ensure sports remains in the EU agenda’s top priority with focus on education.

From left to right: Jérôme Pero (FESI Policy Director), Alberto Bichi (FESI Secretary General), Martine Reicherts (DG EAC), Luca Businaro (FESI President)

On the 21st of April 2017, FESI President (Mr. Luca Businaro), FESI Secretary General (Mr. Alberto Bichi), FESI Public Policy Director (Mr. Jerome Pero), met with Martine Reicherts, European Commission Director General for Education and Culture (DG EAC), responsible for EU policies in the field of culture, youth and sports and Agata Dziarnowska policy officer for inter-institutional and international relations for the Sport Unit. The encounter aimed at strengthening the overall proliferation of sports in different EU policy areas and target sports as one of the topics for the upcoming EU programmes.

The meeting kick-started with a presentation of FESI and the House of Sports complementing the different angles of sports policy the European Commission comprises. Most importantly, FESI stressed the relevance of introducing sports as one of the target areas for the European Commission programme Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) working groups, namely WG on Schools: governance for higher education and WG on the modernisation of Higher Education. DG EAC Martine Reicherts, also told that a communication on schools mentioning the relevance of sports and physical activity was in the process of being finalised to stress the message.

The ET 2020 programme aims at fostering cooperation between Member States, the European Commission and Stakeholders to learn from each other by sharing experience, evidence, analysis and policy options. On the occasion, FESI also committed to provide its expertise and link the national and the European levels of actions for a more harmonised educational EU programme, while recognising that sports is an important element to tackle the key challenges of the Member States’ education and training systems.

FESI President Luca Businaro added “Sport and physical activity have proven to be positive factors in the various aspects of our daily activities, including the physical, educational and mental health of our citizens.  Therefore, it is essential to include sports in youth activities and educational training as to increase the physical activity dimension of school programmes.  Herein, the sports industry represents a strong driver and component of the EU’s economic potential and should not be disregarded.”

FESI Secretary General Alberto Bichi additionally highlighted the multi-policy nature of sports which has impacted in the action points of different Commission’s General Directorates including the launching of DG Growth’s study “Improve Economic and Policy Knowledge in the Field of Sport Related Industries with particular focus on Sporting Goods Sector” with the aim of streamlining recommendation on how to increase the industrial competitiveness of the sport-related industries, and recent collaboration with DG Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE).