FESI welcomes the European Parliament Report on Sport Policy

Left to right: FESi Secretary General (Alberto Bichi) with MEP Hannu Takkula.

Today the European Parliament voted in favour of the own initiative report “on an integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity”, bringing sports once again under the radar of the European politician sphere.

In line with FESI’s vision, the report stresses the relevance of sport as a driver of growth, for the European industry as well as the significant contribution to employment (sport-related employment has been estimated at equivalent to 3.51% of total EU employment – source: Report).

The rapporteur MEP Hannu Takkula successfully rallied support from other MEPs and stakeholders to put the development of a sport policy at EU level back on the European agenda.

MEP Takkula comments: “The adoption of the report comes at a crucial momentum as it will feed into the European Commission evaluation of sports policy in 2017.  I am very proud that other MEPs have recognised that the time has come to significantly strengthen sports policy”.

Proposals of the report include:

  • Encouraging EU Member States and the Commission to make physical activity a political priority at the next EU Work Plan on Sports, highlighting that sport should be better promoted across policy sectors
  • Recommending Member States to introduce VAT-exemptions, tax breaks and other forms of financial incentives in grassroots sports
  • Proposing to tackle current sports integrity issues such as third party ownership, match fixing and doping
  • Improving accessibility to sports facilities

After the European Union held sports policy in 2009, following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the report aims at evaluating this policy path and building on the Fisas report of the European dimension on sport.

FESI Secretary General, Alberto Bichi fully endorses the European Parliament’s initiative and calls for it to be as ambitious as possible: “The report demonstrates the relevance of sports as a driver of growth and well-being across Europe and it is therefore essential to profile sports in the political agenda”.