Brussels, 14th March 2024

The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) warmly welcomes today’s adoption by the Council of the new EU work plan for sport (2024-2027)[1], setting out the future priorities and activities related to EU Sports Policy. FESI participated actively in the Commission’s consultation on the EU work plan for sport and advocated for a comprehensive approach to ensure equal access to sport and promote physical activity across all segments of society.

In its contribution to the stakeholders’ consultation on the future roadmap for EU sports policy, FESI highlighted the need for policies that ensure equal access to sport for all, irrespective of gender, LGBTQIA+ identity, disability (both physical and mental), ethnicity, race, or socio-economic background. The Federation also stressed the need for Member States to prioritise individual and recreational sport, recognising its significance in promoting overall well-being.

Promoting and implementing sports policies should be considered from a cross sectorial approach, facilitating closer collaboration among various policy fields (health, food, transport, education, mobility…etc) and stakeholders to develop concrete actions. For example, the sporting goods industry can provide crucial feedback to policymakers on how sport is “best” implemented and what athletes need to perform at their best. To address the high levels of inactivity prevalent within the EU[2], Member States should also support the development of sustainable, safe and sport-friendly infrastructures in European cities, such as bicycle-friendly cities, publicly available sports parks, separate changing rooms for men and women, cycles tracks equipped with light.

We’re happy to see that several of our recommendations have been included as a priority in the new work plan, especially the need to increase investments in sustainable and accessible sports and sports-recreational infrastructures”, commented Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General. “This is a crucial step towards fostering a more inclusive and environmentally responsible sports sector”, he added.

FESI looks forward to the future implementation of the new work plan for sport and is ready to collaborate with the European Commission and Member States to ensure its success.

[1] https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9773-2024-INIT/en/pdf

[2] Up to 45% of Europeans currently never exercise or partake in physical activity (EU Eurobarometer 2022)

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About FESI: Founded in 1960 FESI, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, is the unique pre-competitive platform representing the interests of the sporting goods industry in Europe, advancing its members’ priorities and promoting initiatives that benefit the sector, EU citizens and the society as a whole. FESI represents the interests of approximately 1.800 sporting goods manufacturers (85% of the European market) through its National Sporting Goods Industry Federations and its directly affiliated member companies. 70-75% of FESI’s membership is made up of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. In total, the European Sporting Goods Industry employs over 700.000 EU citizens and has an annual turnover of some 81 billion euro.

Media contact: Ariane Gatti – FESI Communication & Policy Manager / [email protected] / +32 (0) 2 762 86 48