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Parliamentary questions
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26 June 2020
 E-002309/2020
Answer given by Ms Gabriel
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002309/2020

The Commission is aware of the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sports sector and especially vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. It is coordinating actions with Member States to limit the effect on the grassroots sport and the economy of the sport sector.

The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) mobilises reserves in the European Structural and Investments Funds to fight the crisis. Member States can choose their priority investments, which can include support to sport organisations and clubs, including those that pursue the social inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The Commission has put forward a new instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an emergency (SURE)(1). It will help Member States to keep businesses running and people in jobs. Member States may use these resources for professionals in the sport sector where they are covered by a short-time work scheme or equivalent measure.

The Commission has adopted a  Temporary Framework(2) to enable Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under state aid rules to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Commission has already approved a number of aid schemes(3) in this context and some of them cover sport organisations(4).

The Commission has provided necessary flexibility in line with the existing legal rules for ongoing sport projects financed under the Erasmus+ programme including those supporting the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. The 2020 Erasmus+ Sport Call earmarked 57.6 million EUR to support European partnerships for grassroots sport. In addition, discussions on the next EU Work Plan for Sport later this year will provide an opportunity to reflect on possible recovery measures.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 2020/672, adopted on 19 May 2020.
(2)Communication from the Commission — Temporary framework for state aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak, 19 March 2020, OJ C 91I, 20.3.2020, p. 1-9, as amended by Communication from the Commission C(2020) 2215 final of 3 April 2020 on the Amendment of the Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak, OJ C 112I , 4.4.2020, p. 1‐9 and by Communication from the Commission C(2020) 3156 final of 8 May 2020 on the Amendment of the Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak, OJ C 164, 13.5.2020, p. 3‐15.
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/index.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_sa_by_date
(4)E.g. State Aid scheme approved by the Commission ( SA.56905 (2020/N ) on wage compensation for the affected sectors includes ‘sports activities and amusement and recreational activities’ and ‘physical well-being activities’.
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