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Date

Fighting discrimination in sport

09-07-2021

Even though the European Union (EU) has built an extensive framework of legislation, instances of racism and homophobia in sport are still rife. Interestingly, Eurostat surveys reveal that the feeling of discrimination is more widespread than actual discrimination. Although there are some variations, discrimination in sport very frequently involves stigmatisation on the basis of external characteristics such as skin colour, body shape and gender. Data from 2017 show that some 3 % of respondents claimed ...

Even though the European Union (EU) has built an extensive framework of legislation, instances of racism and homophobia in sport are still rife. Interestingly, Eurostat surveys reveal that the feeling of discrimination is more widespread than actual discrimination. Although there are some variations, discrimination in sport very frequently involves stigmatisation on the basis of external characteristics such as skin colour, body shape and gender. Data from 2017 show that some 3 % of respondents claimed to have experienced racist violence in the previous year, with another 24 % being exposed to racist harassment in that period. Worryingly, the results of a 2018 poll confirm that the vast majority of respondents (90 %) perceive homo/transphobia to be a problem in sport, with gay men feeling homophobia to be a bigger problem than lesbian/gay women and bisexual people. Action against discrimination at EU level is grounded in an established EU legal framework, based on a number of Treaty provisions – in particular Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty on European Union, and Articles 10, 19 and 67(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The general principles of non-discrimination and equality are also reaffirmed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This legal arsenal is completed by a number of directives and framework decisions – such as the Racial Equality Directive, the Victims' Rights Directive and the Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, to name but a few – aimed at increasing individual protection. The objectives of the sports strand of the Erasmus+ programme include combatting violence, discrimination and intolerance in sport and providing funding for various projects such as the setting up of LGBTQI+ sports clubs in central and eastern Europe, increasing inclusion in sport, and by bringing together partners who traditionally face barriers to participation, such as women, the LGBTQI+ community and people with disabilities. In addition, since 2016, the European Commission has supported the Council of Europe in promoting safety and security at sports events. In recent years, the Gay Games and the European Gay and Lesbian Multi-Sports Championships have helped raise awareness, build self-esteem and change perceptions based on prejudice.

Books and book lovers in the EU

21-04-2021

At a time when many schools, libraries and bookshops around the world remain closed and people are spending more time at home, books can do wonders in combating isolation, while stimulating readers' minds and creativity. Every year since 1995, on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated all over the world. Launched by UNESCO, the event is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of reading and promote a lifelong interest in books.

At a time when many schools, libraries and bookshops around the world remain closed and people are spending more time at home, books can do wonders in combating isolation, while stimulating readers' minds and creativity. Every year since 1995, on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated all over the world. Launched by UNESCO, the event is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of reading and promote a lifelong interest in books.

Getting to know the EU's cultural heritage sites

16-04-2021

Every year since 1983, World Heritage Day has been celebrated around the globe on 18 April. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diversity and vulnerability of our cultural heritage and the efforts required for its protection and conservation. With more than 380 cultural and natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage list, the EU attracts over a third of all tourists globally. Even though the pandemic caused a collapse in travel, EU countries remain extremely popular, with France, Spain ...

Every year since 1983, World Heritage Day has been celebrated around the globe on 18 April. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diversity and vulnerability of our cultural heritage and the efforts required for its protection and conservation. With more than 380 cultural and natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage list, the EU attracts over a third of all tourists globally. Even though the pandemic caused a collapse in travel, EU countries remain extremely popular, with France, Spain, Italy and Germany being among the world's top 10 countries in this respect.

Women in front of and behind the camera: Still struggling with inequality

04-03-2021

Even though the past 50 years have seen a significant advance in women's living conditions and status in society as a whole, their depiction on screen has continued to reflect patriarchal stereotypes. Accordingly, female characters are in general younger than their male counterparts and more likely to be reduced to the role of wife, mother or girlfriend. One way to help guarantee that stories and perspectives portrayed on the screen are more true to life would be to encourage and support the presence ...

Even though the past 50 years have seen a significant advance in women's living conditions and status in society as a whole, their depiction on screen has continued to reflect patriarchal stereotypes. Accordingly, female characters are in general younger than their male counterparts and more likely to be reduced to the role of wife, mother or girlfriend. One way to help guarantee that stories and perspectives portrayed on the screen are more true to life would be to encourage and support the presence of women in key positions in the film industry. However, even though almost as many female (44 %) as male (56 %) directors graduate from film schools, the average proportion of female directors in the industry is just around 20 %, with results varying from 5 % in Latvia to 30 % in Sweden, thus leaving gender equality still a long way off.

The Bauhaus movement: Where are the women?

03-03-2021

Bauhaus, arguably the most influential art and design movement in history, celebrated its centenary in 2019. While many of the avant-garde genres that helped shape modern art focused on painting, the Bauhaus movement encompassed a wide array of media, materials, and disciplines, ranging from the fine arts to architecture and design. Bauhaus is renowned for its smart use of resources, simplicity, effectiveness and polished, smooth lines. Its principles still influence the design of contemporary architecture ...

Bauhaus, arguably the most influential art and design movement in history, celebrated its centenary in 2019. While many of the avant-garde genres that helped shape modern art focused on painting, the Bauhaus movement encompassed a wide array of media, materials, and disciplines, ranging from the fine arts to architecture and design. Bauhaus is renowned for its smart use of resources, simplicity, effectiveness and polished, smooth lines. Its principles still influence the design of contemporary architecture and everyday objects, embodied in the belief that 'Less is more'. In an era when women had no access to public education in many fields, Bauhaus director Walter Gropius proclaimed that the institution would be open to 'any person of good repute, regardless of age or sex'. However, although the movement was largely populated by women, the names recorded in history are mainly those of men, while female Bauhaus creators are mostly remembered as their wives or assistants. Indeed, these pioneering creators were tolerated, rather than welcomed. By many accounts, the early years of the Bauhaus restricted women to areas deemed proper for their gender, such as textiles and weaving, while discouraging them from indulging in architecture, sculpture or painting. Similarly, no matter how talented, women had very little opportunity to teach at the school and did not receive apprenticeship certificates, which prevented them from acquiring master's diplomas and ultimately placed limits on their careers. In spite of these difficulties, women Bauhauslers arguably turned such constraints into an advantage. Under the direction of Gunta Stölzl, the Bauhaus weaving department became one of the school's most successful fields, with fabrics from the weaving workshop being very successful commercially. Architect Lilly Reich, metal designer Marianne Brandt, wood sculptor Alma Siedhoff Buscher and photographer Lucia Moholy are just some of those iconic Bauhaus figures. In recent years, an increasing number of museums pays tribute to their pioneering work and legacy.

Creating opportunities in sport for people with disabilities

15-02-2021

Disability is a complex, multidimensional and contested term for which there is no common definition, but which is generally understood as a dynamic interaction between health conditions and contextual factors, both personal and environmental. A billion people in the world, of whom over 70 million in the EU, live with disabilities today. Official sporting events for people with disabilities have existed for over a century. The Silent Games – the first competition for athletes with a disability (now ...

Disability is a complex, multidimensional and contested term for which there is no common definition, but which is generally understood as a dynamic interaction between health conditions and contextual factors, both personal and environmental. A billion people in the world, of whom over 70 million in the EU, live with disabilities today. Official sporting events for people with disabilities have existed for over a century. The Silent Games – the first competition for athletes with a disability (now Deaflympics) – were held in 1924 in Paris (France). Some disability sports are traditional sports slightly modified to meet the needs of people with a disability and are referred to as 'adapted sports'. Others, such as boccia, have been designed specifically with no equivalent in mainstream sport. 'Disability sport' is used as an umbrella term to describe sports activities developed for the benefit of people or athletes with disabilities. In the last century, various disability sports and competitions have been developed and run under the auspices of specialised international organisations. Regrettably, there is no centralised data collection on the participation of people with disabilities in sport at EU level. Instead, EU countries gather a variety of non-harmonised indicators, making it impossible to make consistent comparisons. According to a 2018 Eurobarometer survey, having a disability or illness is the third most frequently mentioned reason – by 14 % of respondents – for not practising sports more regularly. To remove such barriers and improve the participation of people with disabilities in sports, over 50 Erasmus+ projects have supported such activities since 2014. At national level, some EU countries, such as France, Ireland and the Netherlands, have adopted centralised approaches based on national strategies and funding initiatives. Others, including Belgium, Italy and Spain, favour strategies developed and implemented mainly at regional or local level. The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on sports activities for people with disabilities. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, rescheduled for August-September 2021, will be broadcast to an estimated global audience of 4.3 billion people and should help to put disability back at the heart of the inclusion agenda.

How coronavirus infected sport

18-01-2021

Nearly a year after its initial outbreak, the deadly strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19, is still raging across the world and the sports ecosystem has not been spared. Whilst countries' responses have varied widely, the global response prompted the almost total shutdown of competitions at all levels, including multiple postponements of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Estimates show that nearly a million sports-related jobs have been impacted in ...

Nearly a year after its initial outbreak, the deadly strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19, is still raging across the world and the sports ecosystem has not been spared. Whilst countries' responses have varied widely, the global response prompted the almost total shutdown of competitions at all levels, including multiple postponements of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Estimates show that nearly a million sports-related jobs have been impacted in the EU, not only for sports professionals but also for those in related retail and sporting services such as travel, tourism, infrastructure, transportation, catering and media broadcasting, to name but a few. Additionally, Covid-related measures are estimated to have caused the loss of some €50 million in GDP across the EU-27. The results of a 2020 survey among European national Olympic committees show that over 93 % have had to significantly review their work-related practices, and over two thirds (67 %) reported their elite athletes were unable to use training facilities. While larger clubs in major sports are likely to have the financial resources to cope with a temporary loss of income, the same is not true for grassroots sports facilities that rely on self-employed coaches and volunteers and face a greater risk of shutting down. Even though its role in the area of sport is limited to 'soft' policy instruments, the EU has responded promptly to limit the spread of the virus and help EU countries to withstand its social and economic impact. In addition to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the CRII+, both approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in record time, the European Commission has set up a temporary framework allowing EU countries to derogate from State aid rules, and proposed a European instrument for temporary support (SURE) to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep their players and fans engaged, traditional sports have had to adapt their models by blurring the lines between traditional sports and Esports. However, research reveals that Covid-19-related restrictions have only increased the appeal of outdoor activities and made initiatives such as the European Week of Sport more necessary than ever.

Lowering hurdles to sport for persons with disabilities

03-12-2020

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been marked every 3 December since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilise support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. According to the United Nations, a billion people in the world, 80 % of them in developing countries, live with disabilities today. Globally, an estimated 46 % of people aged 60 and over are among those with disabilities. Moreover, one in every five women and one ...

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been marked every 3 December since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilise support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. According to the United Nations, a billion people in the world, 80 % of them in developing countries, live with disabilities today. Globally, an estimated 46 % of people aged 60 and over are among those with disabilities. Moreover, one in every five women and one in every 10 children are likely to experience disability in their lifetime. In the EU, there are over 70 million people with a disability, roughly equivalent to 17.5 % of the total population. This figure is set to rise rapidly over the next decade, given that the EU population is ageing and that more than a third of those over 75 have a disability. Worryingly, people with disabilities are among the hardest hit by Covid-19.

LUX Prize 2.0: Pan-European Audience Film Award

16-11-2020

The only parliament in the world to award a film prize, the European Parliament has been shining a spotlight on European cinema every year since 2007. This year the prize is gearing up to become a European Audience Film Award. Over the past 12 years, the LUX Film Prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry. Prize-winners have gone on to be highly successful ...

The only parliament in the world to award a film prize, the European Parliament has been shining a spotlight on European cinema every year since 2007. This year the prize is gearing up to become a European Audience Film Award. Over the past 12 years, the LUX Film Prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry. Prize-winners have gone on to be highly successful in the EU and beyond, making the LUX Film Prize a synonym for quality film-making.

A European week of sport... like no other

21-09-2020

This year, the sixth round of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off in unusual circumstances. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever.

This year, the sixth round of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off in unusual circumstances. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever.

Upcoming events

07-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: What is the future of (European) sovereignty?
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08-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Statistics, Data and Trust: Why figures matter [...]
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EPRS
21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Matters of Record: Inside European Politics
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EPRS

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