Dear Member of the European Parliament,
ln preparation of the upcoming votes on inter-parliamentary groups we wish to draw your attention on a policy area that has been overshadowed by economic and societal problems for too long.
Yet, because economic and social stability is of major concern for us all, we strongly invite the European Parliament not to lose sight of the sport and physical activity movement which could precisely be a significant driver for a sustainable and healthy economic growth1. ln order to echo a clear and strong message on physical activity policies, we kindly invite you to support the re-establishment of the sport intergroup, which has achieved many successes under the previous mandate2.
Such an intergroup should bring together MEPs from different committees and political orientations. The aim is to produce a consolidated view on ways to tackle the challenges of physical inactivity in Europe and define a coherent European sport policy for the wellbeing of all EU citizens3. In line with the Tartu Call for a healthy lifestyle4, FESI firmly believes that sport and physical activity should not be viewed through the sole prism of sport policy but should also call upon the constructive input of different policy areas such as: Food, Innovation, Research, Health, Education, Economic development, Tourism, Environment, Urban Planning, Social cohesion, Industry, and Employment.
Lately, the proportion of European people who say they never exercise or play sport has slightly increased from 42% to 46%, and this is a continuation of a gradual trend since 20095. We remain convinced that the economic costs due to physical inactivity in Europe – €80 billion per year6 – remain a solid burden on the European economy and that sport is on the contrary a tool for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, in line with Europe 2020 strategy.
The European Parliament should therefore tackle this issue through an holistic intergroup, covering all sport and physical activity related issues and gathering professional input. As one of the most engaged actors in the creation of first ever official intergroup addressing the scope of sport and physical activity related issues, FESI remains strongly committed to supporting Members of the European Parliament who are interested in continuing the ambitious work started by the Sport Intergroup for the next term of office.