Think tank bemoans lack of concrete Commission action
By Dafydd ab Iago | Tuesday 25 January 2011
Sport and Citizenship, a think tank set up in France in 2007, regrets the absence of a clear timeline for implementing actions promised by the European Commission in its recent communication on the future of sports policy. On 18 January, the EU executive set out a series of non-legislative proposals in a communication on sport taking into account the Union’s new competence in the field under the Lisbon Treaty.
However, Sport and Citizenship points to the absence of a “significant” sport budget to finance the numerous actions aimed at developing the European dimension in sport. The think tank thus calls for a proper sport budget for the next financial period (2014-2020). The group is also disappointed that there is only a non-legislative communication. Even if it is a worthy interpretation of the new powers given in the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 165, the document has no legal value per se, says Sport and Citizenship.
The think tank also bemoans the lack of concrete action by the Commission when it comes to improving the comparability of European economic data on sport. The group notes that the issue was already on the agenda in the 2007 white paper on sport back in 2007. According to the think tank, it is now time to move on especially as several studies have already been commissioned and completed.
Finally, the think tank makes a few suggestions to the Commission. It wants “transversal” working groups to assess the interaction between the social, economic and organisational issues affecting sport. The 52 sport projects, supported by the Commission as ‘preparatory actions’, should become part of a broader plan, and “structured” dialogue should be further developed with all sports stakeholders.