Procedure : 2011/2087(INI)
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Document selected : A7-0385/2011

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A7-0385/2011

Debates :

PV 01/02/2012 - 18
CRE 01/02/2012 - 18

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PV 02/02/2012 - 12.9
CRE 02/02/2012 - 12.9
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P7_TA(2012)0025

REPORT     
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21 November 2011
PE 466.981v02-00 A7-0385/2011

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Committee on Culture and Education

Rapporteur: Santiago Fisas Ayxela

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 18 January 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’ (COM (2011)0012 final),

–   having regard to the Commission White Paper on Sport (COM (2007)0391),

–   having regard to the Commission communication on "Fighting Corruption in the EU" (COM(2011)0308),

- having regard to the two Council of Europe conventions on Spectator violence and misbehaviour at sports events of 19 August1985 and on anti-doping of 19 August 1990,

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 June 2003 on women and sport(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 21 April 2004 on respect for core labour standards in the production of sports goods for the Olympic Games(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2005 on doping in sport(3),

–   having regard to its declaration of 14 March 2006 on tackling racism in football(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2006 on forced prostitution in the framework of world sports events(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of professional football in Europe(6),

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 November 2007 on the role of sport in education(7),

–   having regard to its resolution of 8 May 2008 entitled ‘White Paper on Sport’(8),

–   having regard to its resolution of 19 February 2009 on Social Economy(9) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2009 on the integrity of online gambling(10),

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2011 on the Commission’s fifth Cohesion Report and the strategy for post-2013 cohesion policy(11),

–   having regard to its Written Declaration 62/2010 of 16 December 2010 on increased support for grassroots sport,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2010/37/EC of 27 November 2009 on the European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 18 November 2010 on the role of sport as a source of and a driver for active social inclusion(12),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 17 June 2010 on the new strategy for jobs and growth,

–   having regard to the Council resolution of 1 June 2011 on a European Union Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014(13),

–   having regard to the Declaration of Punta de l’Este of December 1999 and to UNESCO’s round table meeting on traditional sports and games (TSG)(14), dealing with recognition of traditional sports and games as part of intangible heritage and a symbol of cultural diversity,

–   having regard to the case-law of the EU Court of Justice and the Tribunal and the Commission’s decisions on sports matters,

–   having regard to the European Charter of Women’s Rights in Sports ( Jump in Olympia – Strong(er) Women through Sport),

–   having regard to the Charter for Action to stamp out LGBT discrimination in sport,

–   having regard to Articles 6, 19 and 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(15) of 11-12 October 2011 and the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 26-27 October 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’(16),

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, of the Committee on Legal Affairs, of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0385/2011),

A. whereas sport contributes to achieving the EU’s strategic objectives, as it highlights fundamental educational and cultural values and is a vector of integration, since it is open to all members of the public, regardless of their sex, ethnic origin, religion, age, nationality, social situation or sexual orientation;

B.  whereas the specific nature of sport should take precedence in the judgement of the ECJ and the Commission’s decision on sports matters;

C. whereas all stakeholders, including policy makers, must take into account the specific nature of sport, its structures based on voluntary activity and its social and educational functions;

D. whereas the specific nature of sport arises from the sum of sport’s individual and essential aspects which make it different from all other sectors of activity, including economic activities; whereas it should however be subjected to European Union law where appropriate and necessary, and on a case-by case basis;

E.  whereas EU action in the field of sport should always take the specificity of sport into account respecting its social, educational and cultural aspects;

F.  whereas sport is a competence of the EU under the Treaty of Lisbon aiming to promote fairness and openness in sporting competitions, cooperation between the bodies responsible for sport, protecting the physical and moral integrity of sportspeople, and enhancing the health, social, cultural and economic benefits of sport, and requires appropriate financial and policy support;

G. whereas sport makes a huge contribution to positive values such as fair play, respect and social inclusion;

H. whereas billions of people throughout the world play sports invented, codified and disseminated in Europe and notes additionally that the modern Olympic movement was created in France by Baron Pierre De Coubertin;

I.   whereas EU Sports Policy must be developed to address and support the aims and objectives of both professional and amateur sports;

J.   whereas the support and promotion of sport for people with intellectual or physical disabilities should be a priority in the EU considering its important role in delivering social inclusion, public health and volunteerism across borders;

K. whereas volunteering is the cornerstone of most amateur sport in Europe;

L.  whereas 35 million amateurs assist the development of mass-participation sport and the dissemination of sporting ideals, as do clubs and charitable sports associations;

M. whereas sport is a key factor for health in modern society and, through its role in formal and non-formal education, is an essential part of a high-quality education, and contributes to senior citizens’ personal fulfilment;

N. whereas promoting physical activity and sport makes for significant savings in terms of public expenditure on health;

O. whereas a key motivating factor behind citizen involvement in sport and physical activity is to improve personal health and well-being;

P.       whereas doping in sport infringes the values of sport and places sportspeople at serious risk, causing serious and permanent damage to health;

Q. whereas high-level sport is a showcase for certain core sporting values and conveys those values to society generally, encouraging participation in sport;

R.  whereas many top-level athletes face an uncertain future at the end of their sporting career;

S.  whereas it is essential to prepare such athletes for their career change by enabling them to receive general education or vocational training alongside their sports training;

T.  whereas sportspeople’s fundamental rights must be safeguarded and protected;

U. whereas verbal and physical violence and discriminatory behaviour may potentially occur during sports competitions;

V. whereas women’s participation in sport is not sufficiently valued, and women are under-represented within the decision-making bodies of sports organisations;

W. whereas sporting activities require specific and appropriate facilities, equipment and apparatus and whereas schools too should have suitable facilities to promote physical education;

X. whereas sport plays an important part in the European economy, as it directly or indirectly employs 15 million people, i.e. 5.4% of the working population, and represents an annual added value of approximately EUR 407 billion, or 3.65% of Europe’s GDP, and an economically flourishing sports sector thus contributes to achieving the aims of the Europe 2020 strategy;

Y. whereas the violation of sports organisations’ intellectual property rights and the upsurge in digital piracy, especially the unlicensed live transmission of sports events, puts the economy of the entire sports sector at risk;

Z.  whereas sport does not function like a typical sector of the economy because of the interdependence between opponents and the competitive balance needed to preserve the uncertainty of results;

AA.     whereas sport does not behave like a typical economic activity because of its specific characteristics and its organisational structures, underpinned by federations, which do not operate as commercial companies, and whereas a distinction must be made between sporting and commercial interests;

AB.     whereas European social dialogue can play an important role and should therefore be promoted;

AC.     whereas sport plays an important role and brings joy to many citizens whether they are participants, supporters or spectators;

AD.     whereas major events and participation in sport provide extraordinary opportunities to exploit the potential of tourism development in Europe, which can spread the values and principles linked to sport;

AE.     whereas the European model of sport is based on a federation for each sports discipline, and whereas mechanisms for sports and financial solidarity, such as the principle of promotion and relegation and open competitions involving both clubs and national teams, are organised on an autonomous, democratic and territorial basis and in a pyramid structure, as the result of a longstanding democratic tradition;

AF.     whereas transparency and democratic accountability at sports clubs can be improved by the involvement of supporters in the ownership and governance structure of their clubs;

AG.     whereas traditional and grassroots sporting organisations play a key role in strengthening culture, promoting social inclusion and enhancing communities;

AH.     whereas national teams have a key role to play, international competitions continue to constitute a reference model and action should be taken against ‘naturalisations of convenience’;

AI. whereas the very nature of competitions between national teams implies that sports federations and clubs can enhance the training of their national sportspeople;

AJ. whereas professional and grassroots sport are vulnerable to and seriously affected by financial instability and it is the responsibility of the relevant federations to encourage clubs to adopt a culture of planning and sensible investment;

AK.    whereas international transfers can be dangerous for young athletes, since sporting failure, family disruption and social marginalisation are some of the consequences that can result when young athletes leave home too early;

AL.     whereas sports federations do not have the structural or legal means to take effective action against match-fixing;

AM.    whereas gambling services are excluded from the scope of the Services Directive (2006/123/EC) and the new Consumer Rights Directive (approved by the European Parliament on 23 June 2011), due to their specificity;

AN.    whereas funding for grassroots sport is only secured if holders of the necessary national gambling licences, who pay taxes and finance other public interest objectives in Member States, are legally obliged to pay ‘public interest’ levies and are effectively protected against illegal competition;

AO.    whereas the regulation of players’ agents requires concerted action between sports governing bodies and public authorities so that effective sanctions can be imposed against agents and/or intermediaries who break the rules;

AP.     whereas sport can play a part in various areas of the EU’s external relations, among others by means of diplomacy;

The social role of sport

1.  Urges the Commission to propose a dedicated and ambitious budget for sports policy under the future MFF given the public health, social, cultural and economic benefits of sport;

2.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that sport becomes a subject in the curriculum of schools of all kinds, and underlines the importance of encouraging participation in sports at all levels of education, from early years onwards, including schools, universities and local communities which should be encouraged to have sports facilities with suitable equipment;

3.  Urges Member States to establish clear guidelines to integrate sport and physical activity into all levels of education across the Member States;

4.  Highlights the importance of education through sport and the potential of sport to help get socially vulnerable youngsters back on track and asks the Member States, national associations, leagues and clubs to develop and support initiatives in this respect;

5.  Calls on the Member States to promote and support the cooperation of schools and sports clubs; in this context, the Commission should make use of its coordinating function in sport to gather examples of best practice from the Member States and make these available to all interested parties throughout Europe in a central database;

6.  Recommends that the Commission encourage the practice of sport among senior citizens as it helps to promote social interaction and high rates of good health;

7.  Underlines that sports at all ages is an important area of great potential for increasing the overall health level of Europeans and therefore calls on the EU and on Member States to facilitate engagement in sport and to promote a healthy lifestyle fully exploiting the opportunities of sport, thereby reducing spending on healthcare;

8.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to support more strongly the role of health professionals in the promotion of sports participation and to examine how health insurance providers could offer incentives as a way of encouraging people to take up sporting activities;

9.  Underlines the importance of making sport available to all citizens in many different settings, whether at school, at work, as a recreational activity or through clubs and associations;

10. Acknowledges the work done by organisations delivering sporting activities for persons with intellectual or physical disabilities across the EU; calls on the Commission, the Member States and sports organisations to promote and develop, with appropriate funding, sport activities and competitions for people with disabilities, notably by making available and giving to them equal access to sport and free-of-charge sports facilities tailored to their needs;

11. Stresses the great socially-integrating power of sport in many areas, including civic commitment and the conception of democracy, the promotion of good health, urban development, social integration, the job market, employment, skills training and education;

12. Encourages the Member States and the Community institutions to increase their grants to organisations that seek to integrate through sport people at risk of social exclusion or that promote sport for physically or mentally disabled people;

13. Encourages Member States to permanently include sport in programmes and services for a real integration of all groups at risk of discrimination and calls on sport organisations to adopt appropriate training programmes for professionals and volunteers to prevent and fight against any form of discrimination or racism;

14. Highlights the exemplary function of sport for society and urges sports governing bodies to take leadership in countering institutional discrimination;

15. Recalls that gender discrimination should not occur in sport, and calls for application of the Olympic Charter to be extended to all sporting events, particularly European ones;

16. Calls on the Council, the Commission, the Member States and national governing sports bodies to commit to tackling homophobia and transphobia and to implement legislation and anti- discrimination policies especially for lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender athletes properly;

17. Calls on Member States to place greater emphasis on the importance of quality physical education for both genders and suggests that they develop the necessary strategies to address this issue;

18. Emphasises that the composition of sports organisations’ decision-making bodies must reflect that of their AGMs as well as the gender balance among their licensed players, thus affording men and women equal access to administrative roles even at transnational level;

19. Encourages the Commission and the Member States to acknowledge the importance of sport as a means of promoting peace, economic growth, intercultural dialogue, public health, integration and the emancipation of women;

20. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to urge the International Olympic Committee to impose their own rule in the Olympic Charter forbidding all demonstrations or political, religious or racist propaganda at sports events and at the same time to ensure that political pressure is not put on women to violate this rule and that it is not evaded by women not being sent by their countries to compete;

21. Calls on sport organisations to further encourage women’s participation in sport and in the governance bodies of sports organisations by guaranteeing equal access to sporting activities, in particular for girls and women from disadvantaged backgrounds, by promoting female participation in sport and giving women’s and men’s sports and results equal prominence and visibility; encourages Member States to develop measures enabling female athletes to reconcile their family and professional sports life and to promote gender equality into governmental policies on sport; calls on the Commission to encourage the exchange of information and good practices with regard to equal opportunities for people of both genders in sport;

22. Calls on the Commission and Member States to support European organisations for the promotion and implementation of the recommendations of the European Charter of Women’s Rights in Sports;

23. Calls on the Commission and Member States to include gender mainstreaming into all its sports-related activities, with a specific focus on: access to sport for immigrant women and women from ethnic minorities, women’s access to decision-making positions in sport and media coverage of women in sport, and to ensure that sport policies and legislation are based upon sex equality;

24. Calls on the Commission and Member States to support and encourage European research into the specific character of female sporting activities, the reasons why women and girls give up sport, and the persistence of inequalities in women’s access to sport;

25. Encourages the creation of women’s networks in the field of sport to promote exchange of best practices and information;

26. Underlines that parents’ prohibiting immigrant girls from taking part in sports and swimming at school cannot be tolerated or excused on cultural or religious grounds;

27. Points out that while many girls play sports in younger years, many drop out during adolescence; refers in this context to research showing that girls face overt or subtle pressure from peers and families to ‘feminise’ or take on responsibilities that prohibit continued participation; encourages Member States and national sports governing bodies to develop strategies for programmes and coaches to support, in particular, girls interested in sports in developing their identity as athletes;

28. Stresses the need to fight against doping, while respecting athletes’ fundamental rights, with particular attention to the youngest athletes, through prevention and information campaigns; urges the Member States to treat trafficking in illegal performance-enhancing substances in the sports world in the same way as trafficking in illegal drugs and to adopt national legislation to this end seeking to improve European coordination in this field; calls on the World Anti-Doping Agency to create an easy-to-use whereabouts administration system in line with EU law and stresses the need for statistics on the use of doping and missed tests to establish a tailored approach to combat doping;

29. Believes the accession of the EU to the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe is a necessary step to coordinate a more uniform implementation of the WADA code in the Member States;

30. Is in favour of greater harmonisation of legislation in order to achieve effective cooperation on the part of the police and the judiciary in the fight against doping and other kinds of manipulation of sports events;

31. Calls on the Member States to approach the issue of gambling addiction and the protection of minors from the risks of gambling;

32. Is in favour of formulating clear rules on the protection of minors in competitive sport and of developing further vital protection measures in consultation with the federations;

33. Stresses the critical importance of dual sport and career training for young sportspersons; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States, together with all the relevant actors, to draw up guidelines to ensure young sportspersons are able to pursue normal school and/or professional studies in addition to their sports training, taking account of existing best practice in the individual Member States; encourages Member States, in that regard, to take account of the relevant experience of former professional sportspersons if they wish to become trainers, to establish designed career paths for high-level athletes who decide to pursue a course of higher education, and to use their experience for the benefit of sport generally;

34. Urges Member States to develop educational programmes structured to facilitate the combination of learning and training for professional athletes;

35. Proposes that a training and qualifications framework for coaches and coach education be established and incorporated in the European Qualifications Framework and Lifelong Learning Programmes in order to advance a knowledge-based society and the development of excellence in coaching at both the amateur and professional level;

36. Highlights the role of coaches in the development and education of young people, not just in sporting skills but also in life skills; notes that coaches can provide guidance for young people to develop a healthy lifestyle;

37. Calls on Member States, in close consultation with the relevant federations to refuse access to stadiums to supporters who have displayed violent or discriminatory behaviour and to create a coordinated approach in setting and enforcing sanctions against them, to cooperate closely to ensure that stadium bans remain in force for international matches in Member States other than that in which they were imposed and to set up, while respecting individual rights and freedom, a European database in order to share information and to enhance cooperation by means of an improved warning system for high-risk matches;

38. Takes a positive view of the Member States’ drawing up minimum safety standards for stadiums, in consultation with the European sports federations, and taking all appropriate measures to ensure that players and supporters are as safe as possible;

39. Points out that, where sports take place in the natural environment, a balance must be ensured between their societal benefits and the health of the environment in which they take place;

40. Underlines the potential of sporting events for tourism at local and national level and calls on the Member States to aid the development of this branch of economic and commercial activities;

The economic dimension of sport

41. Is in favour of the special nature of sport being recognised in the field of the internal market and competition law and therefore reiterates its call for the Commission to adopt guidelines on the application of EU law to sport in order to rectify the many legal uncertainties;

42. Notes that sponsorship provides a vital financial lifeline and many possibilities in sport, with respect for the financial fair play principles;

43. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to accord a high status to voluntary activities in sport; reiterates the importance of volunteers in sport and stresses the need to establish a framework of social recognition and to provide volunteers with proper training, it is in favour of an exchange of information and best practice between Member States in order to promote volunteering in sport and of exploring the feasibility of a legal and tax framework that is suitable for the activities of sports associations;

44. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to create a system for the recognition of qualifications gained by volunteers and of qualifications required for regulated sport-related professions;

45. Stresses that the mutual recognition of courses and specialist training within a unified European framework for professionals working in sport as specialists (referees, coaches) is particularly important as it makes a long-term contribution to increasing competitiveness, which would in turn enable major revenue loss to be avoided;

46. Encourages Member States to ensure higher education for sportspeople and a harmonised recognition of their sports and education qualifications to enhance professional mobility;

47. In addition, encourages the Member States to improve structures for former sportspeople returning to the labour market and their integration into a career after professional sport;

48. Calls on the Member States to consider ways of alleviating the financial burden on the lowest-paid professional sportspersons, who have brief and fluctuating careers; reiterates that professional sportspeople, who are categorised as athletes, and the majority of whose earnings come from sport, should be entitled to the same social security rights as workers;

49. Considers social dialogue in sport an appropriate way for finding the balance between the fundamental rights and employment rights of sportspeople combined with the specific nature of sport;

50. Believes that, in the constantly evolving economic dimension of the sport industry, immediate improvements to sport-related issues are needed in crucial areas such as the free movement of workers and services, freedom of establishment, recognition of professional qualifications, intellectual property rights and state aid rules in order to guarantee that the sports industry takes full advantage of the benefits of the internal market;

51. Underlines the fundamental importance of commercial exploitation of audiovisual rights for sport competitions being carried out on a centralised, exclusive and territorial basis with a view to guaranteeing that revenues are distributed fairly between elite and mass-participation sport;

52. Believes that sporting events which are regarded as being of major importance for society should be accessible to the widest possible range of people; calls on Member States which have not done so to take measures to ensure that broadcasters under its jurisdiction do not broadcast such events on an exclusive basis;

53. Acknowledges the right for journalists to access and report on organised sporting events of public interest in order to safeguard the right of the public to obtain and receive independent news and information on sporting events;

54. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to protect intellectual property rights in respect of sports content, with due regard for the public’s right to information;

55. Considers that betting on sport is a form of commercial exploitation of competitions and calls on the Commission and the Member States to protect betting from unauthorised activities, from unlicensed operators and from suspicions of match fixing, in particular by recognising organisers’ property rights with regard to their competitions, guaranteeing a significant contribution from betting operators towards funding mass-participation and grassroots sports and by protecting the integrity of competitions with an emphasis on education for athletes; considers, however, that such property rights should not prejudice the right of short reporting as stipulated by Directive 2007/65/EC (Audiovisual Media Services Directive);

56. Reiterates its request that the Commission draw up guidelines on state aid, indicating what type of public support is legitimate with a view to achieving the social, cultural and educational goals of sport;

57. Calls on the Member States to take effective action to fight corruption and promote ethics in sport; regards it as essential, therefore, that each country introduce strict rules on the financial supervision of sports clubs;

58. Encourages sports associations to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, among other things by means of sharing information, in the interest of an adequate and efficient approach to tackling match fixing and other fraud in sports;

59. Calls on the Commission to propose concrete measures to secure the funding of sport generated by lotteries;

60. Points out that the introduction by the Commission of satellite accounting in the sport sector is extremely timely, as it enables activities connected with sport to be assessed at national level in accordance with uniform standards, which makes it possible to detect anomalies and brings added value to the European economy and the single market;

61. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take practical action to promote exchanges of good practice and foster closer cooperation with regard to technical aspects and sports-related research;

62. Considers the role of local and regional authorities in developing the European dimension of sport to be fundamental because their institutional tasks include providing services for the public in the field of sport and allocating funding for sporting activities and for the facilities they require;

63. Insists that grassroots sport should benefit from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, which should allow for investment in sports infrastructure and urges the Commission and the Member States to provide the Union with a specific budget programme in the field of sport, as is now possible under Article 165 TFEU;

Organisation of sport

64. Notes that sports structures in Europe are based on the principles of nationality and territoriality;

65. Reaffirms its attachment to the European model of sport, within which federations play a central role and which has various actors, including supporters, players, clubs, leagues, associations and volunteers at its base, which have a fundamental role in supporting the entire sport structure;

66. Calls for a reduction in the barriers to volunteering in sport across the EU;

67. Emphasises the important role played by local bodies in promoting sport for all within society and calls on these bodies to be actively involved in the European forums for debate and dialogue aimed at the sports world;

68. Recalls that good governance in sport is a condition for the autonomy and self-regulation of sports organisations, in compliance with the principles of transparency, accountability and democracy and stresses the need for a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in sport; underlines the need for appropriate representation of all stakeholders in the decision-making process;

69. Calls on Member States and sports governing bodies to actively stimulate the social and democratic role of sport fans who support the principles of fair play, by promoting their involvement in the ownership and governance structures at their sports clubs and as important stakeholders in sports governing bodies;

70. Maintains that sporting clubs should make players available when they are selected for national teams, while recognising their contribution to the success of major national team tournaments, which might include insurance mechanisms, and emphasises that a ‘one size fits all’ approach cannot be applied to all sports;

71. Underlines that training for players at local level and investments in sports education are needed for the sustainable development of the sports movement in Europe and the diffusion of its positive influence on individuals and society; considers it necessary, therefore to ensure that high-level sport does not affect the development of young sportsmen, amateur sports and the essential role of grassroots sporting organisations; emphasises the need for the equivalence and recognition of diplomas and qualifications in sports;

72. Reaffirms its commitment to the home-grown player rule, and considers that could be a model for other professional leagues in Europe; supports further efforts of sports governing bodies that stimulate the training of local young players within the limits of EU law thus strengthening the competitive balance within competitions and the healthy development of the European sports model;

73. Considers that the development of new talent is one of the core activities of a sports club, and that an over-dependence on the transfer of players can undermine sporting values;

74. Underlines the importance of training allowances, as these provide an effective protection mechanism for training centres and a fair return on investment;

75. Considers that the profession of sports agents should be a regulated professional activity, and subject to an adequate official qualification and that sports agents’ fiscal residence should be within EU territory in the interest of transparency; calls on the Commission to draw up and implement, in cooperation with the sports federations, players’ unions and agents’ associations, a European licensing and registration system accompanied by a code of conduct and a sanctioning mechanism;

76. Proposes the setting up by sports federations of a non-public European register of sports agents, in which agents would list the names of the players that they represent, so as to protect athletes, in particular those below the age of 18 so as to limit the risk of conflicts of interest; takes the view that the payment of agents’ fees for transfers should be made in a number of instalments throughout the duration of the contract, which is entered into by the sportsperson as a result of the transfer, with full payment being dependent on that contract being fulfilled;

77. Calls on Member States to supplement existing regulatory provisions governing players’ agents / intermediaries with deterrent sanctions and to implement these sanctions rigorously;

78. Calls on sports governing bodies to enhance transparency with regard to players’ agents’ activities and to cooperate with Member States’ authorities to eradicate corrupt practices;

79. Welcomes the study carried out at the Commission’s request on the economic and legal impact of player transfers; also takes the view that the action taken by sports federations to make international transfers more transparent should be supported;

80. Expresses the view that systems implemented by sports governing bodies in bringing more transparency to the international transfers of players, constitute a step in the right direction, as they serve the principle of good governance and aim at ensuring integrity in sporting competitions;

81. Clearly states its support for licensing systems and financial fair play, as they encourage clubs to compete within their actual financial means;

82. Considers that these measures are helping to improve governance, restore long-term financial stability and sustainability of clubs and contribute to financial fairness in European competitions, and therefore asks the European Commission to recognise the compatibility of such rules with EU law;

83. Welcomes the efforts of sports federations to ban the ownership of more than one sports club engaged in the same competition; takes the view that betting operators should be prohibited from holding a controlling stake in a body which organises or participates in competitions, and that bodies which organise or participate in competitions should be prohibited from holding a controlling stake in an operator offering bets on the events they organise or in which they participate;

84. Urges Member States to take all necessary action to prevent and punish illegal activities affecting the integrity of sport and making such activities a criminal offence; in particular where such they are betting-related, meaning that they involve the intentional and fraudulent manipulation of the results of a sport competition or of a phase of it in order to gain an advantage not based solely on normal sporting practice or the associated uncertainty;

85. Urges sport federations to work closely with Member States in order to protect the integrity of sport;

86. Calls on the European Commissions to tackle the opacity of transfers and match-fixing, as announced in its EU anti-corruption strategy, by establishing minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences in this field;

87. Is deeply concerned at the serious illegal activities taking place in sport, such as money laundering, and calls on the Member States to step up their cooperation to tackle these issues and to ensure greater transparency in financial transactions conducted as part of player transfers and agents’ activities;

88. Maintains that it is essential to develop instruments designed to foster cooperation between public authorities, sports authorities and gambling operators in relation to cases of sports fraud, and that cooperation with Europol and Eurojust could be envisaged;

89. Recognises the legitimacy of sports courts for resolving disputes in sport, as long as they respect people’s fundamental rights to a fair trial; calls for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to take into account EU law provisions when it comes to settlement of sport disputes within the EU disputes arising within the EU;

90. Calls on the Commission to submit, by 2012, a proposal aimed at gaining a better understanding of the specific needs of the sports sector and taking practical action to address them, with full regard to the provisions of Article 165 TFEU;

Cooperation with non-member States and international organisations

91. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to cooperate with non-member states on issues such as international player transfers, exploitation of underage players, match fixing piracy and illegal betting; also stresses the need to step up international cooperation with regard to the promotion of sport in developing countries;

92. Looks forward to the results of systems put in place for monitoring transparency and financial fair play and for combating corruption and human trafficking; stresses the need for the system to comply with EU law and data protection rules; calls on SGBs to link data from the TMS with other anti-corruption systems with a view to more effective monitoring to combat match fixing;

93. Stresses the need to address unauthorised EU- and non-EU-based gambling operators as these are able to avoid sports fraud monitoring systems;

94. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote in all cooperation with non-member states the global respect of Olympic rules and regulations;

95. Calls on clubs to ensure compliance with immigration laws when they sign up young people from non-member States, and to ensure that all the terms of their contract comply with the law in force; calls for young athletes to be able to return to their country of origin under satisfactory conditions if they so wish, in particular if their career does not take off; emphasises, in this connection, that it is essential to enforce the relevant legislation;

96. Stresses the need to boost the protection of minors in the context of international transfers; takes the view that international transfers are potentially dangerous for young athletes, who are extremely vulnerable because they have left their families and countries at a young age and should therefore receive ongoing attention from sports organisations;

97. Calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service to promote, despite rules or obligations imposed on women related to cultural, traditional, historical or religious factors in society, the absolute freedom to exercise any kind of sport for both women and men;

European identity through sport

98. Calls on the Commission to expand the existing programmes that promote sport as an instrument of its development policy and to launch new initiatives in this field;

99. Calls on the Commission:

–  to organise a ‘European Day of Sports’ every year which promotes the social and cultural role of amateur and professional sports and the benefits of sport in terms of public health;

–  to support the designation of a ‘European capital of sport’ every year, under the leadership of ACES (European Capitals of Sport Association), with financial support and the necessary controls;

–  to support local, traditional, indigenous sports which are part of the rich cultural and historic diversity of the EU, symbolising the motto of ‘United in Diversity’, by raising awareness of these games through, inter alia, the promotion of a European map and European festivals;

–  to set up a mobility programme and relevant measures for young amateur athletes and coaches to enable them to learn new training methods, establish best practice and develop European values through sport such as fair play, respect and social inclusion and to encourage intercultural dialogue;

–  to help facilitate a mobility programme for exchange in sports coaches;

–  to work with Member States and sporting organisations to protect the fundamental integrity of grassroots sport;

–  to support Member States’ work on data collection and research in order to exchange best practice;

100.    Suggests that the European flag should be flown at major international sports events held on the EU territory and suggests to sports federations to consider the idea of having it displayed on the clothing of athletes from Member States, alongside the national flags; underlines that it should be entirely voluntary and up to Member States and sports organisations to decide whether they will use the aforementioned option;

o

o        o

101.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to European, international and national sports federations.

(1)

OJ C 68 E, 18.3.2004, p. 605.

(2)

OJ C 104 E, 30.4.2004, p. 757.

(3)

OJ C 33 E, 9.2.2006, p. 590.

(4)

OJ C 291 E, 30.11.2006, p. 143.

(5)

OJ C 291 E, 30.11.2006, p. 292.

(6)

OJ C 27 E, 31.1.2008, p. 232.

(7)

OJ C 282 E, 6.11.2008, p. 131.

(8)

OJ C 271 E, 12.11.2009, p. 51.

(9)

OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2010, p 16.

(10)

OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 30.

(11)

P7_TA(2011)0316.

(12)

OJ C 326, 3.12.2010, p 5.

(13)

OJ C 162, 1.6.2011, p 1.

(14)

Almaty, Kazakhstan, 5-6 November 2006.

(15)

CdR 66/2011 fin.

(16)

CESE 1594/2011 – SOC /413.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) gives the EU a new competence for sport, calls on the EU to contribute to the promotion of sporting issues and provides that EU action should be aimed at developing the European dimension in sport.

The communication from the Commission is the first policy document issued in the field of sport after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which gives the EU a mandate to support, coordinate and supplement sport policy measures taken by MS.

During the last term, to reflect the importance of this, the European Parliament produced other related motions for resolution, namely ‘The Future of professional football in Europe’(1), ‘The Role of Sport in Education’(2) and ‘The White Paper on Sport’(3) (implemented by the Commission in 2007)

- Why sport matters to society

Sport itself constitutes an important social phenomenon and a public good. For many, it is one of the most important forms of recreation, whether they take part themselves or if they are a spectator. At its best, sport brings people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. Sport promotes the active contribution of European citizens to society and helps foster a sense of social inclusion.

- Enhancing health through sport

Physical activity is one of the most important health determinants in modern society. Lack of physical activity has an adverse effect on the health of European citizens, since it increases the risk of individuals becoming obese, overweight and contracting serious diseases. These adverse consequences are a burden on the health budget and the general economy of Member States.

- Doping, violence and intolerance

Doping remains an important threat to sport. Many stakeholders call for a more active EU approach in the fight against doping, for example by joining, to the extent that the competences in this area entitle the Union to do so, the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe.

Spectator violence and disorder also remain a Europe-wide phenomenon and there is a need for a European approach comprising measures designed to reduce the associated risks.

- Sport and the economy

Sport represents a large and fast-growing sector of the economy and makes an important contribution to growth and jobs, with value added and employment effects exceeding average growth rates. The sustainable funding of sport however is an issue which needs to be examined in closer detail.

- The organisation of sport

Good governance in sport is a condition for addressing challenges regarding sport and the EU legal framework. Such challenges include: the free movement of citizens and nationality of sportspeople, transfers of players (the legality of the acts and transparency of financial flows are frequent concerns), the integrity of sporting competitions and European social dialogue in the sport sector.

The Commission Communication:

On 18 January 2011, the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’. It sets out the Commission’s ideas for EU-level action in the field of sport. It proposes concrete actions for the Commission and/or the Member States within three broad chapters: the societal role of sport, the economic dimension of sport and the organisation of sport.

Main message of the Communication:

-    identifies key challenges related to sports (e.g. doping by amateur athletes, violence linked to sporting events)

-    respects the autonomy of sport governing structures and recognises the competences of MS in the organisation of sport

-    nonetheless states that action at EU level in the organisation of sport can provide significant added value

-    concludes each chapter with a list of possible follow-up actions for the Commission --and the Member States to address

-    recognises the complexity of the proposals in the field of sport

-    suggests the continuation of informal cooperation structures between MS in order to ensure the continued exchange of good practice and dissemination of results.

The Communication states that EU action contributes to the overall goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy by improving employability and mobility, though actions promoting social inclusion in and through sport, education and training and European guidelines for physical activity.

The actions proposed in the Communication aim to encourage debate among stakeholders, address challenges in sport and help the sector develop. Athletes, sport organisations and citizens are expected to benefit from the plans, which flow from the EU’s new role under the Lisbon Treaty to support and coordinate sport policy in the Member States.

Currently, the Commission provides support for projects and networks in the field of sport either through sport-specific incentive measures, notably the Preparatory Actions in the field of sport, or through existing programmes in various relevant fields. These include life-long learning, public health, youth, citizenship, research and technological development, social inclusion, fight against racism, environmental protection and others.

The Rapporteurs remarks and challenges for the future:

On the value of sport

-    The Rapporteur strongly believes that sport can contribute to the strategic objectives of the European Union, given its educational and cultural value.

-    Sport is a vector of integration, since it is open to all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, age, nationality and social status.

-    The Rapporteur recognises that the practice of sport among women is not sufficiently valued and that women are underrepresented in decision-making bodies of sports organisations.

-    The Rapporteur encourages MS to consider the experience of former athletes when seeking access to the coaching profession, and to establish specific pathways for athletes who choose to pursue higher education and provide tutors to monitor them.

-    Volunteers enable the smooth-running of many sporting events. The Rapporteur would like to underline the importance of their contribution.

On tackling the big issues

-    The Rapporteur is of the opinion that promoting the health benefits of sport should be the responsibility of Member States. At EU level, the focus should be on bigger issues such as doping, trafficking, mobility of athletes, racism and violence in sport.

-    Every effort should be made to prevent criminal activities that pose a threat to sport e.g. money laundering, match fixing, human trafficking and exploitation of minors.

-    The Rapporteur calls upon Member States to prohibit access to the stadium of fans who have displayed violent or discriminatory behaviour. Suggests a European register of those banned from stadiums be created.

On good governance

-    Standards of sport governance through exchanges of good practices should be promoted.

-    Member States’ legislations on the selling of media rights should be harmonised, in order to prevent a situation in which only large associations benefit.

-    The Rapporteur recognises the importance of the fair distribution of income among sports club of different sizes, and between professional and amateur sports.

-    The importance of training allowances, as they are an effective protection mechanism for training centres and a fair return on investment, are also emphasised.

On the fairness of sporting competitions

-    The integrity of sporting events is important. Member States should adopt regulatory measures to ensure sport is protected from any improper influences such as betting or match fixing.

-    The Rapporteur urges Member States to make it a criminal offense to all forms of attack on the integrity of competitions.

-    The fairness and openness of sport competitions is vital, in order to protect the integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen.

-    Sports federations do not have the structural and legal means to act effectively against the rigging of games

-    The Rapporteur supports the licensing systems and Financial Fair Play.

-    The Rapporteur recognises the legitimacy of sports courts in resolving disputes in the field of sport, therefore calls for the creation of a European Chamber of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

On the budget

-    Appropriate budget coverage for sport needs to be considered, in order for the preparatory action to pass to a specific programme dedicated to the new competence.

On opportunities and jobs

-    Member States’ educational programmes should be coordinated in such a way to allow young athletes to combine learning with sports training.

-    There should be courses to provide for young people wanting to pursue an athletic career, and combining that with studies.

-    Sport should be promoted at schools, given its benefits such as breaking down social barriers, integration of marginalised groups.

-    Sport has the potential to contribute to job creation and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

On tourism

-    Synergies between sport and tourism need to be identified, notably through the upgrading of collective infrastructures.

-    The Rapporteur notes that major events and sport offer tremendous opportunities to exploit the potential of tourism development in Europe.

On traditional sports and games

-    The Rapporteur strongly believes that we should preserve local, traditional sports, as these are part of our cultural heritage and reinforce the sense of European citizenship. This is a true symbol of cultural diversity in our societies.

-    The Rapporteur notes that some traditional games and sports have already disappeared and those that still survive are at risk of imminent disappearance.

-    The Rapporteur invites the Commission to draw up a European map of aboriginal sports and to support its dissemination.

European identity through sport

-    The Rapporteur invites the Commission to organise an annual ‘European Day of Sports’ to raise public awareness of the benefits of sport.

-    Possible initiatives include conferences and debates on sport, discounts on sports equipment in shops and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

-    The Rapporteur invites the Commission to support the annual designation of a ‘European capital of sport’ under the leadership of ACES, with financial support and the necessary controls.

-    The Rapporteur proposes that the European flag fly at major sporting events within European Union and suggests that it appears on the jersey of the athletes of Member States.

Training and Mobility in sport

-    Emphasises that the training of players at local level is needed for sustainable development of sport in Europe.

-    The Rapporteur suggests that a mobility program for young athletes should be created, the aim of which would be to allow athletes the possibility to train with foreign teams.

-    Students and school pupils on sports teams would be eligible to take part in these exchanges. The students would have the opportunity to learn new training methods and develop their European awareness. The program would enhance intercultural dialogue.

On cooperation with third countries and international organisations

-    The Rapporteur invites the Commission and Member States to consider issues such as international player transfers, the exploitation of underage players, piracy, and illegal betting with the cooperation of third countries.

-    Sports clubs should be required to comply with immigration legislation when recruiting young people from third countries. This will ensure that the sportsmen are treated well until they return to their country of origin.

On sports agents

-    The Rapporteur believes that like any other regulated professional activity, sports agents should be subject to a minimum qualification, issued by an institution of higher education. Their fiscal residence should also be within EU territory.

-    The Rapporteur proposes the establishment of a register of European players’ agents, in which the names of athletes with whom they work and their salaries would be listed.

(1)

Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2007) 0100.

(2)

Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2007) 0503.

(3)

Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2008) 0198.


OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (23.9.2011)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Rapporteur: Burkhard Balz

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to its resolution of 19 February 2009 on Social Economy (2008/2250(INI)),

–   whereas sport, in addition to being a socio-cultural phenomenon, is a dynamic economic sector capable of generating significant direct revenues and indirect economic dividends and could therefore contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy;

–   whereas sport does not behave like a typical economic activity because of its specific characteristics and its organisational structures, underpinned by federations, which do not operate as commercial companies, and whereas a distinction must be made between sporting and commercial interests;

   whereas sporting fixtures are increasingly of cross-border importance and whereas threats to the integrity of sport such as match-fixing cannot be dealt with within the borders of one Member State alone and therefore require cooperation and coordinated action by the Member States;

1.  Welcomes Article 165 TFEU, which for the first time gives the EU a legal basis for action in the area of sport, and thus also for a financial support programme at EU level;

2.  Acknowledges the importance of sports events in the process of European integration; the opportunity to visit or follow sporting events on television and radio or via the internet helps to connect Europe’s citizens culturally;

3.  Points out that sport fulfils many important tasks not only in society, such as the promotion of voluntary engagement, integration and health, but also as an employer, a taxpayer and an innovative promoter of the economy and of growth; the empirical economic analysis of this sector at European level is of primary importance, but additional efforts are needed in order to create an appropriate platform of reliable and comparable data; reiterates its call for the social economy sector to be comprehensively recognised in statistical terms;

4.  Believes that Eurostat should quickly provide these statistics in cooperation with the relevant national authorities, while international bodies should be fully involved in the process, as should other economic actors and bodies, such as TV broadcasters and the European Audiovisual Observatory;

5   Also points out that, in addition to considerations of setting a moral example and solidarity, volunteering can also be beneficial to a Member State from an economic standpoint; moreover it also makes job creation easier and results in increased employment;

6.  Calls on the European Commission and the Member States to recognise the right of organisers of sporting competitions to be compensated by betting operators, who use their competitions to run their own commercial operations, and to assist sports bodies in their fight to protect the integrity of sport; this does not, however, refer to public betting operators, who support sports according to their charters;

7.  Calls for an analysis of the economic situation of sports clubs in Europe. It has become increasingly common, primarily in football, for clubs to have problems with large financial debts;

8.  Invites the Council and the Commission to support the creation of a structure for constant exchange of best practice and coordination among the Member States, civil society and other stakeholders, in order to create synergies between major events and all important initiatives aimed at stimulating economic growth linked to sporting activities; states however, that harmonisation of national policies at EU level is not the aim of EU policies;

9.  Laments cases of corruption and match-fixing in sport, which harm the integrity of sport for fans and threaten the economic contribution from sport; calls, therefore, for the establishment of effective cooperation measures at EU level for the defence of integrity and fair play in sport consistent with Articles 6, 83 and 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, between sports event organisers, online betting operators and public authorities, for the purpose of promoting player education and coordinating action against fraud and corruption in sport by sharing information and expertise and by applying a common definition of offences and sanctions – including criminal sanctions – for sports fraud;

10. Asks the Commission to clarify the application of state aids rules with respect to public funding for sport in order to provide legal certainty for Member States in promoting the public interest through funding for grassroots sport;

11. Points out the need for a deeper and more extensive analysis of sustainable economic developments in sport. Among other things, part of transfer fees should be returned to clubs at grassroots level. This is essential for the creation of a more sustainable and equitable sporting movement;

12. Recalls that revenue in the area of sport is normally used to finance events and competitions, participating organisations, the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and the promotion of youth and amateur and grassroots sport; points out, therefore, that organisers need to have the right to merchandise their events themselves, in a transparent way, in line with EU competition rules; notes the important role of training academies and the need to ensure their long-term viability and success through appropriate protection;

13. Acknowledges the link between the economic value of sport and the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR); calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide appropriate protection for IPR; stresses that on-line betting is one form of commercial exploitation of sporting events and calls on the Commission to put forward proposals to ensure a fair return for sports and to safeguard the integrity of grassroots sport and develop it;

14. Recalls that the EU is, in accordance with Article 165 TFEU, committed to promoting the equity and protecting the integrity of sport; considers therefore that the EU should introduce European-level structural cooperation in order to coordinate the fight against fraud and corruption in sport;

15. Supports any form of self-regulation in the sport sector aimed at reinforcing accountability, transparency and financial stability; considers it essential, for the credibility of this kind of regulation, that an effective system of scrutiny and a balanced mix of sanctions and incentives be implemented within a unified European system which will enable detection of the various kinds of corruption (bribery and the damaging effects of sports betting on the equitable nature of sport); calls on the Commission to examine the possibility of measures on the basis of Article 114 TFEU aimed at ensuring the existence of harmonised rules of sound financial management for European professional sports clubs;

16. Stresses that the mutual recognition of courses and specialist training within a unified European framework for professionals working in sport as specialists (referees, coaches) is particularly important as it makes a long-term contribution to increasing competitiveness, which would in turn enable major revenue loss to be avoided;

17. Is of the opinion that continuing with incentives in the field of sport within the next multiannual financial framework would be desirable and justifiable, whether as part of an independent EU sports programme or as a sub-programme;

18. Points out that the introduction by the Commission of satellite accounting in the sport sector is extremely timely, as it enables activities connected with sport to be assessed at national level in accordance with uniform standards, which makes it possible to detect anomalies and brings added value to the European economy and the single market;

19. Calls for the creation and implementation of internal regulations on the high level of debt in professional sport which would be capable of tackling its causes. These regulations should be proposed by sports institutions across Europe in common understanding with each other in order to put in place a coherent framework for the whole continent;

20. Calls on the Commission to put forward specific proposals to remedy the shortcomings and discrepancies in the legislation concerning the activities – which are by their nature, cross-border – of sports agents which were documented by the independent study carried out in 2009 on behalf of the Commission;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

22.9.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Udo Bullmann, Pascal Canfin, George Sabin Cutaş, Rachida Dati, Derk Jan Eppink, Diogo Feio, Elisa Ferreira, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Othmar Karas, Wolf Klinz, Philippe Lamberts, Astrid Lulling, Hans-Peter Martin, Ivari Padar, Olle Schmidt, Marianne Thyssen

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Pervenche Berès, David Casa, Herbert Dorfmann, Saïd El Khadraoui, Sari Essayah, Mojca Kleva, Thomas Mann, Gianni Pittella, Andreas Schwab


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (14.9.2011)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Rapporteur: Sophie Auconie

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

-    whereas Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) gives the European Union the task of ‘developing the European dimension in sport, by promoting fairness and openness in sporting competitions and cooperation between bodies responsible for sport, and by protecting the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen, especially the youngest sportsmen and sportswomen’,

1.  Stresses that sport is a major public-health tool and a powerful factor for reducing public-health expenditure; reiterates that the positive effects of regular physical activity include the prevention of health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis; stresses that sport and physical exercise can play a therapeutic role by boosting self-esteem, improving physical self-perception, developing social skills, promoting inclusiveness and contributing to positive mental health and well-being; deplores the pressure sometimes exerted on children and adolescents involved in sporting activities; notes that, given that the EU population is ageing, specific attention should be paid to the positive impact that physical activity can have on the health of the elderly;

2. Calls on the Member States to assign an important role to physical activity, from an extremely early age, in national education programmes, given that currently one in seven children in the EU are overweight or obese; calls on the Council to draw up a recommendation along the lines of the EU Physical Activity Guidelines endorsed by EU Sport Ministers in 2008; calls on Member States to encourage undertakings to organise sports activities for their employees;

3.  Stresses that voluntary work by sports organisations is valuable work beneficial to public health; considers that the European Union should support this work more effectively than hitherto;

4.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to acknowledge the distinction between amateur and professional sport and to promote a strong grassroots-based, more participatory 'sport for all' model of physical activity, including for people with disabilities, and to make it a central part of their public health strategies;

5.  Calls on Member States and local authorities not to rely solely on private sport facilities, an approach which can lead to inequalities, but to grant broad and equal access also to public sports facilities and to exchange good practices in this respect;

6.  Stresses that sport and the national, European and international organisations which manage and govern it can make a genuine contribution to the achievement of the EU’s long-term strategic objectives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy and thus create fresh prospects for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

7.  Considers that the European Union must play a more active role in defending the integrity of sport, which sports organisations cannot do alone, and that cooperation among Member States’ sports organisations should also be promoted in order to ensure regular exchanges of tried-and-tested methods and the dissemination of information about the results achieved;

8.  Considers the role of local and regional authorities in developing the European dimension of sport to be fundamental because their institutional tasks include providing services for the public in the field of sport and allocating funding for sporting activities and for the facilities they require;

9.  Considers that doping poses serious health risks for both professional and amateur athletes; takes the view that anti-doping campaigns currently suffer from a lack of coherence and coordination amongst Member States and stakeholders; calls for an exchange of information and good practices between national administrations, anti-doping organisations and laboratories; points out in this regard that, in accordance with Article 165 TFEU, the European Union must ensure the protection of the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen;

10. Advocates the EU’s accession to the Council of Europe's Anti-Doping Convention;

11. Calls on the Commission to look into the appropriateness of a directive on high-energy sports foods with a view to providing consumers with a satisfactory level of information, with particular reference to anti-doping rules; calls on the Commission to draw up a preventive anti-doping strategy targeting young sportsmen and women;

12. Calls for the definition of criminal offences involving and penalties for doping-substance trafficking;

13. Calls for systematic cooperation at European Union level to safeguard the integrity and fairness of sport, having due regard for Articles 6, 83 and 165 TFEU, with the aim of coordinating the combating of fraud and corruption in sport and combating doping, without prejudice to the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency or to how it operates;

14. Calls on the Commission and Member States to support more strongly the role of health professionals in the promotion of sports participation and to examine how health insurance providers could offer incentives as a way of encouraging people to take up sporting activities.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

12.9.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

0

1

Members present for the final vote

János Áder, Kriton Arsenis, Sophie Auconie, Pilar Ayuso, Paolo Bartolozzi, Sandrine Bélier, Sergio Berlato, Milan Cabrnoch, Martin Callanan, Nessa Childers, Chris Davies, Bairbre de Brún, Anne Delvaux, Edite Estrela, Julie Girling, Françoise Grossetête, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Jo Leinen, Peter Liese, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Miroslav Ouzký, Antonyia Parvanova, Mario Pirillo, Pavel Poc, Anna Rosbach, Oreste Rossi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Carl Schlyter, Richard Seeber, Theodoros Skylakakis, Salvatore Tatarella, Anja Weisgerber, Marina Yannakoudakis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Marisa Matias, James Nicholson, Alojz Peterle, Michail Tremopoulos, Anna Záborská, Andrea Zanoni


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (27.9.2011)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Rapporteur: Eija-Riitta Korhola

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas sport is a dynamic growth sector and constitutes a real instrument of social cohesion and has a very important social, health and financial impact in the EU and its regions, where it can greatly contribute to local development of both infrastructure and economy and serve as a major tourist attraction;

B.  whereas gambling services are excluded from the scope of the Services Directive (2006/123/EC) and the new Consumer Rights Directive (approved by the European Parliament on 23 June 2011), due to their specificity;

C. whereas funding for grassroots sport is only secured if holders of the necessary national gambling licences, who pay taxes and finance other public interest objectives in Member States, are legally obliged to pay ‘public interest’ levies and are effectively protected against illegal competition;

D. whereas infringements of intellectual property rights constitute a real threat to the long-term funding of European sport;

1.  Welcomes the Commission study on the implications of internal market policies on the funding of grassroots sports and calls for a bridging of the gap between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ sports by means of financial solidarity mechanisms; calls for the development of a European dimension of the integrity of sport with the initial focus on the fight against match-fixing;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to create a system for the recognition of qualifications gained by volunteers and of qualifications required for regulated sport-related professions;

3.  Believes that, in the constantly evolving economic dimension of the sport industry, immediate improvements to sport-related issues are needed in crucial areas such as the free movement of workers and services, freedom of establishment, recognition of professional qualifications, intellectual property rights and state aid rules in order to guarantee that the sports industry takes full advantage of the benefits of the internal market;

4.  Calls for better recognition of the contribution of sport to the overall goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy, given the sector’s strong potential to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and new jobs and considering its positive effects on social inclusion, education and training as well as public health and active ageing;

5.  Insists that the right to grant exclusive rights for lottery and other number games remains with the Member States, given that umbrella sports organisations in the EU consider the contributions made by national lotteries to the financing of sport and especially grassroots sport to be indispensable;

6.  Calls on the Commission to propose concrete measures to secure the funding of sport generated by lotteries;

7.  Recommends that the Member States and sports federations introduce, where not already applicable, the collective selling of media rights, the compatibility of which with EU law has been recognised on several occasions by the Commission;

8.  Respects the right of Member States to draw up penalising measures to repress illegal online gambling; calls for a regulatory principle whereby a gambling company can only operate (or bid for the necessary national licence) in a Member State if it does not contravene the law in any other EU Member State;

9.  Stresses the importance of education in sport and encourages initiatives by sporting organisations and games operators to teach sportspeople good sports betting practice;

10. Welcomes the introduction in European football of the Financial Fair Play concept as a major step forward in achieving financial stability and preventing unfair competition in sport;

11. Expresses its concern about the broadcasting of sporting events in public places on channels broadcasting in the territory of a Member State for which they do not have retransmission rights;

12. Stresses that, in an increasingly competitive global sports market, sufficient monitoring and proper enforcement of intellectual property rights related to the media, trademarks, commercial communications and others must be protected; asks the Commission and the Member States to redouble their efforts to protect sports organisations’ intellectual property rights to create a level playing field in the EU, while respecting the freedom of expression and the press, and to take into account the importance of this revenue for the funding of grassroots sport, as this in turn enables professional clubs to engage in charity work for the benefit of local communities and grassroots sports;

13. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure effective implementation of Article 20(2) of the Services Directive, as well as proper enforcement by national authorities and courts of the national provisions implementing the non-discrimination rule in the legal systems of Member States, with regard to the cross-border selling of tickets for sports events;

14. Supports the Commission’s move to carry out a study into the economic and legal aspects of player transfers and their impact on sports competitions, in particular on the training policy for young players in clubs;

15. Recalls that, under the terms of Article 165 TFEU, the European Union has a duty to promote fairness and protect the integrity of sport; takes the view, therefore, that the European Union should establish structural cooperation at European level to coordinate the fight against fraud and corruption in sport; calls, furthermore, on the Commission to study the desirability of a legislative instrument based on Article 114 TFEU seeking to secure harmonised rules on sound financial management for European professional sports clubs;

16. Considers that European citizens and in particular young people should be given more information on the availability of sports programmes, projects, scholarships and training; calls on the Commission, the Member States and sports organisations to consolidate easily accessible information mechanisms which will help people make full use of the opportunities offered by community programmes in the internal market;

17. Urges the Member States to ensure that the fraudulent manipulation of results for financial or other advantage is prohibited by establishing as a criminal offence any threat to the integrity of competitions, including those linked to betting operations;

18. Believes that one of the key ways of securing dynamic, good healthy living for European consumers and citizens is to ensure that citizens are actively involved in health-enhancing sport and recreational activities across Europe, particularly in the case of children, considering that obesity and other health-related illnesses are on the rise in younger age groups; calls on the Commission to allocate more health-related incentives and funds for projects, in particular those involving cross-border sports activities;

19. Calls on the Commission to clarify the acquis communautaire in the field of sport through guidelines while basing itself on the Communication on sport;

20. Calls on the Commission to start a dialogue with all European professional sports organisations on how to tackle problems arising from differences in the Member States regarding employment contracts (e.g. the minimum age for signing an employment contract), working conditions and salary schemes for professional sportspeople, as well as the rules on state aid and the competition rules for professional sport (e.g. the maximum number of players to use for the whole season in all competitions, transfer windows, etc.).

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

26.9.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Adam Bielan, Lara Comi, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, António Fernando Correia De Campos, Jürgen Creutzmann, Cornelis de Jong, Evelyne Gebhardt, Mikael Gustafsson, Małgorzata Handzlik, Malcolm Harbour, Philippe Juvin, Sandra Kalniete, Edvard Kožušník, Kurt Lechner, Toine Manders, Phil Prendergast, Mitro Repo, Heide Rühle, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Emilie Turunen, Bernadette Vergnaud, Barbara Weiler

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Frank Engel, Marielle Gallo, Anna Hedh, María Irigoyen Pérez, Othmar Karas, Constance Le Grip, Antonyia Parvanova, Sylvana Rapti, Olle Schmidt, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Anja Weisgerber


OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs (11.10.2011)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Rapporteur: Toine Manders

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Legal Affairs calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the values embodied by sport are faced with excessive commercial pressures exerted against a background of legal uncertainty, such as match-fixing;

B.  whereas infringements of intellectual property rights constitute a real threat to the long-term funding of European sport;

C. whereas only the economic dimension of sport is subject to EU law and the rules inherent in the organisation of sporting competitions must remain outside its scope;

1.  Asks the Commission and the Member States to redouble their efforts to protect sports organisations’ intellectual property rights;

2.  Recommends Member States and sports federations to introduce, where not already applicable, the centralised sale of media rights, whose compatibility with EU law has been recognised on several occasions by the Commission;

3.  Expresses its concern about the broadcasting of sporting events in public places on channels broadcasting in the territory of a Member State for which they do not have retransmission rights;

4.  Reaffirms its position that sports bets are a form of commercial use of sporting competitions, and considers that Member States may protect sporting competitions from any unauthorised commercial use as one method of supporting sport at professional and amateur level, notably by recognition of sports bodies’ property rights over the competitions they organise;

5.  Urges the Member States to work together with sports event organisers and betting operators to tackle the fraudulent manipulation of results for financial or other advantage, by establishing as a criminal offence any threat to the integrity of competitions, including those linked to betting operations;

6.  Stresses that training players at local level is necessary for the lasting development of European sport; asks the Commission to recognise the legality of measures fostering the promotion of locally trained players;

7.  Clearly marks its support for licensing systems and Financial Fair Play; considers such measures to be proportionate;

8.  Calls on the Commission to clarify the acquis communautaire in the field of sport through guidelines, basing itself on the Communication on sport;

9.  Recognises the expertise and legitimacy of specialised sport tribunals for the resolution of disputes in the area of sport in so far as they respect citizens’ right to a fair trial;

10. Considers that a minimum level of qualifications should be laid down for football agents, with transparency ensured by a register of agents including a list of all the athletes represented by each agent and the salaries they receive;

11. Calls on the Commission to come up with proposals whereby organisers of sports competitions will receive from betting companies a fair share of the revenue when their competitions are subject to betting in order to safeguard the integrity of grassroots sport and develop it;

12. Calls on the Commission to initiate a dialogue with all European professional sport organisations on how to tackle problems arising from differences in the Member States regarding employment contracts (e.g. minimum age for signing an employment contract), working conditions and salary schemes for professional sportsmen and -women, as well as the rules on State aid and the competition rules for professional sport (e.g. maximum number of players to be used over the whole season in all competitions, transfer windows);

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

10.10.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

14

3

1

Members present for the final vote

Raffaele Baldassarre, Luigi Berlinguer, Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Françoise Castex, Christian Engström, Marielle Gallo, Sajjad Karim, Antonio Masip Hidalgo, Jiří Maštálka, Bernhard Rapkay, Evelyn Regner, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Dimitar Stoyanov, Diana Wallis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Kurt Lechner, Toine Manders, Paulo Rangel

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Pablo Zalba Bidegain


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (3.10.2011)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Rapporteur: Emine Bozkurt

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recognises the specificity of sport, but stresses that sporting rules must at all times be in compliance with EU law, and especially the Charter of Fundamental Rights; stresses the need for transparency and accountability in the governing structures of sport; calls on Sport Governing Bodies (SGBs) to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on corruption, to put into practice ethical codes based on moral integrity and a genuine concern for fair competition, to create independent teams for internal investigation and to establish close cooperation with law enforcement agencies;

2.  Calls on the Member States to include a definition of sporting fraud in criminal law; calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt a harmonised approach against corruption in sport; stresses the need to include all forms of corruption in sport in the Anti-Corruption Package;

3.  Considers that match-fixing, as well as illegal betting and fake sponsorship for purposes of tax evasion, is a serious problem in Europe and a typical form of crime with high revenues and, in certain Member States, excessively low sentences and detection rates, often accompanied by the activities of specialist criminal organisations related to money laundering, drug trafficking and human trafficking;

4.  Calls on SGBs to scrutinise companies that serve as subcontractors for organising matches before granting licences; calls on SGBs to create an effective tool for monitoring matches; calls on Europol to work with joint investigation teams and to cooperate with Eurojust regarding corruption in sport; stresses the need to intensify cooperation with third countries in the fight against match-fixing;

5.  Looks forward to the results of FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS), especially as regards transparency, financial fair play, and combating corruption and human trafficking; stresses the need for the system to comply with EU law and data protection rules; calls on SGBs to link data from the TMS with other anti-corruption systems with a view to more effective monitoring to combat match fixing;

6.  Stresses that minors should be protected at all times; calls on SGBs to scrutinise on a case-by-case basis every exception to the rule that transfers of minors are not allowed, and to reduce these exceptions to an absolute minimum;

7.  Calls on SGBs to create a registration system for players’ agents, accompanied by a code of conduct and a sanctioning mechanism; stresses the need to professionalise the occupation of players’ agent by means of a certificate or something similar;

8.  Stresses the need for a binding agreement between SGBs and betting organisations on monitoring matches and combating fraud in sports; calls on betting organisations to take responsibility for keeping the sector clean and to cooperate with SGBs on these matters;

9.  Stresses the need to address unauthorised EU- and non-EU-based gambling operators as these are able to avoid sports fraud monitoring systems;

10. Stresses that the fight against doping should be in full compliance with EU law, especially with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, privacy and data protection laws, and labour laws; calls on the World Anti-Doping Agency to create an accurate and easy-to-use whereabouts administration system in line with EU law; stresses the need for relevant statistics; notes the importance of punishing the use of doping rather than missed tests; calls on the sports community to promote a sporting mentality associated with mental and physical wellbeing and not solely geared to performance, which in certain cases may lead to serious forms of dependency on drugs and performance-enhancing substances;

11. Points out that physical activity is essential for a healthy and appropriate lifestyle, including an independent life for people with disabilities, and should be accompanied by a balanced diet; in addition, sport is a valuable means of combating marginalisation and social exclusion;

12. Calls on the Member States to step up their efforts to combat violence at sports events, particularly where this involves transport of organised groups of fans between Member States; to this end calls on the Member States to encourage an exchange of information, experience and good practices, thereby making it easier to forestall acts of violence both inside and outside the sports ground;

13. Deplores the lack of attention paid to the fight against discrimination in the European Commission’s Sports Communication; endorses the applicability of EU non-discrimination legislation, which bans all kinds of discrimination, to the field of professional and amateur sports in the EU and calls on all Member States and the Commission to transpose and implement Directives 2000/78/EC and 2000/43/EC effectively;

14. Regards sports clubs and stadiums as the workplace of professional athletes, so that any form of discrimination is discrimination in the workplace; calls on professional organisations and clubs in the area of sport to launch campaigns to tackle all forms of discrimination, racism and xenophobia before and during participation in sporting activities and during after-sports matches, inside and outside stadiums; calls for the publication of annual reports on progress in this area; calls for minimum sanctions and contract clauses on discrimination; calls on the Commission to monitor this process;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

29.9.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Sonia Alfano, Alexander Alvaro, Roberta Angelilli, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Rita Borsellino, Emine Bozkurt, Simon Busuttil, Carlos Coelho, Rosario Crocetta, Tanja Fajon, Hélène Flautre, Kinga Gál, Kinga Göncz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Salvatore Iacolino, Lívia Járóka, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Monica Luisa Macovei, Clemente Mastella, Véronique Mathieu, Louis Michel, Jan Mulder, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Georgios Papanikolaou, Carmen Romero López, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor, Renate Sommer, Valdemar Tomaševski, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Wim van de Camp, Axel Voss, Renate Weber, Tatjana Ždanoka

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Cornelis de Jong, Ioan Enciu, Monika Hohlmeier, Franziska Keller, Jean Lambert, Mariya Nedelcheva, Hubert Pirker, Debora Serracchiani, Gianni Vattimo

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Anna Rosbach


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (23.9.2011)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the European dimension in sport

(2011/2087(INI))

Rapporteur: Joanna Senyszyn

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to its resolution of 21 April 2004 on respect for core labour standards in the production of sports goods for the Olympic Games(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 June 2003 on women and sport(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2006 on forced prostitution in the framework of world sports events(3),

–   having regard to the European Charter of Women’s Rights in Sports – Jump in Olympia – Strong(er) Women through Sport,

–   having regard to the Charter for Action to stamp out LGBT discrimination in sport,

1.  Calls on the Commission and Member States, as well as the relevant stakeholders, sports associations and federations, to guarantee women and men equal access to suitable, age-appropriate, and affordable sport activities and to develop sport opportunities and programmes that promote both sports participation and a sustained interest in sporting activity, in particular for girls and women from disadvantaged backgrounds, in order to strengthen social inclusion and to ensure that female athletes receive equal treatment in the provision of equipment and supplies and the scheduling of games, practice times and coaching;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, and also on the relevant interested parties and sporting associations and federations, to ensure parity in membership of sporting decision-making organs and in access to the positions of trainer and administrator in sporting associations;

3.  Calls on the Member States and national federations to ensure that men and women participating in high-level competitive sport receive prizes of equal value, as well as ensuring equal conditions of training and preparation, including medical support, together with equal access to competitive events, welfare benefits and suitable reintegration schemes after their sporting careers have ended;

4.  Calls on the Council, the Commission, the Member States and national governing sports bodies to commit to tackling homophobia and transphobia and to implement legislation and anti- discrimination policies especially for lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender athletes properly;

5.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to include gender mainstreaming in all of its sports-related activities and in particular policy development, planning processes, budget procedures and human resources development, with a deeper understanding of the barriers women and girls may face in accessing, participating in and benefiting from sport, and to take concrete measures to ensure better representation of women and men at appropriate levels in sports decision-making bodies;

6.  Invites the Commission and the Member States to consider integrated sport programmes in order to challenge and dispel misconceptions about women’s capabilities, help to reduce discrimination and gender stereotypes and broaden the role prescribed to women;

7.  Encourages the creation of women’s networks in the field of sport to promote exchange of best practices and information;

8.  Specifies that involving girls in sport activities alongside boys can help overcome prejudice and stereotyping, which often contributes to social vulnerability of women and girls;

9.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose specific measures and to develop programmes with a view to ensuring that the media provide sports coverage that is balanced, avoids gender discrimination and to reducing stereotyping of women in sport and calls on national sport organisations and authorities to commit to ongoing monitoring of progress in this area;

10. Reiterates its call on Eurostat to develop indicators and statistics on male and female involvement in sport;

11.  Considers that top-level sportswomen are a good role model for young people; stresses, therefore, the importance of the media’s role in raising the profile of these sportswomen;

12. Asks the Commission to support and encourage European research that investigates the persistence of gender inequalities in sports and the reasons why women interrupt their sports careers; underlines that recognition and financial support of sports associations and institutions should depend on compliance with gender equality in all areas and at all levels of sport;

13. Calls on the Commission and Member States to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality, age-related and child-friendly physical education for girls and boys from nursery level onwards, and therefore suggests developing adequate strategies and guidelines;

14. Calls on the Member States to promote partnerships with higher-education institutions with a view to ensuring gender mainstreaming in the education of sporting professionals, and particularly of physical education teachers, given the key role of teachers in raising parents’ and pupils’ awareness in relation to the need to fight gender stereotyping;

15. Calls on the Commission and Member States to make every effort to promote and thereby ensure a gender mix in the practice of sport in schools and public sports facilities;

16. Underlines that parents’ prohibiting immigrant girls from taking part in sports and swimming at school cannot be tolerated or excused on cultural or religious grounds;

17. Calls on the Commission and Member States to develop guidelines on combined sports training and general physical education that would take into account the gender perspective;

18. Calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service to promote, despite rules or obligations imposed on women related to cultural, traditional, historical or religious factors in society, the absolute freedom to exercise any kind of sport for both women and men;

19. Calls on the Member States to support gender budgeting, i.e. to finance female and male sport clubs/national teams equally so that nobody is kept out because of financial reasons;

20. Calls on the Commission and Member States to develop specific measures and programmes aimed at ensuring that women and men do not have to abandon a career in sport because of the impossibility of reconciling their family and professional sports life, and to provide training and counselling, especially for women athletes, in order to facilitate their return to working life, in particular after maternity or parental leave;

21. Suggests in this context also giving thought to sports awareness campaigns targeted at nurseries and schools, in which former professional sportsmen and sportswomen are presented as role models in order to awaken or sustain an interest in sport among children and young people;

22. Advocates the creation of crèches at sports centres and gymnasiums, so that mothers and fathers bringing up young children can be guaranteed equal access to sports facilities;

23. Calls on the Commission to support transnational projects promoting gender-sensitive training in management, coaching, refereeing and media in order to empower women to work in the different functions needed in sport;

24. Calls on the Commission to create an ‘Exchange Programme for Women Athletes’ and to increase scholarships, training and employment opportunities for women athletes, coaches and other women professionals in this field; calls on the Commission to develop professional standards for the sport sector that include a comprehensive description of current and prospective sector-specific qualifications;

25. Points out that many girls play sports in younger years, many drop out during adolescence, and refers in this context to research showing that girls face overt or subtle pressure from peers and families to ‘feminise’ or take on responsibilities that prohibit continued participation; encourages Member States and national sports governing bodies to develop strategies for programmes and coaches to support, in particular, girls interested in sports in developing their identity as athletes;

26. Calls on the Commission and Member States to make the same level of funding available to male and female athletes alike and to co-finance projects through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support sport infrastructure adapted to the needs of women and through the European Social Fund (ESF) to support the development of the skills and employability of women in the sport sector, including management and top-level positions in influential international sports agencies and federations such as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the International Olympic Committee;

27. Calls on the Commission and Member States to establish financial support for sports associations and organisations, conditional on the requirement to comply with the principle of gender equality in all areas and at all levels;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

15.9.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Andrea Češková, Tadeusz Cymański, Edite Estrela, Ilda Figueiredo, Iratxe García Pérez, Zita Gurmai, Mary Honeyball, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Constance Le Grip, Barbara Matera, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Nicole Sinclaire, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Britta Thomsen, Marina Yannakoudakis, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Jill Evans, Christa Klaß, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Mariya Nedelcheva, Katarína Neveďalová, Norica Nicolai, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Joanna Senyszyn

(1)

OJ C 104 E, 30.4.2004, p. 757.

(2)

OJ C 68 E, 18.3.2004, p. 605.

(3)

OJ C 291 E, 30.11.2006, p.292.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

10.11.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Magdi Cristiano Allam, Zoltán Bagó, Malika Benarab-Attou, Lothar Bisky, Piotr Borys, Silvia Costa, Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Mary Honeyball, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Petra Kammerevert, Morten Løkkegaard, Marek Henryk Migalski, Katarína Neveďalová, Doris Pack, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Marco Scurria, Joanna Senyszyn, Emil Stoyanov, Hannu Takkula, Sampo Terho, Helga Trüpel, Gianni Vattimo, Sabine Verheyen

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Liam Aylward, Heinz K. Becker, Ivo Belet, Timothy Kirkhope, Hans-Peter Martin, Georgios Papanikolaou

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Last updated: 1 December 2011Legal notice