FESI welcomes report putting sports policy at top of European agenda
Today in Brussels the European Parliament voted in favour of their own initiative report “on an integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity”, bringing sports once again under the radar of the European politician sphere.
In line with FESI’s vision, the report stresses the relevance of sport as a driver of growth for the European industry - as well as the significant contribution to employment. Sport-related employment has been estimated at 3.51% of total EU employment. (Source: Report).
The rapporteur MEP Hannu Takkula successfully rallied support from other MEPs and stakeholders to put the development of a sport policy at EU level back on the European agenda.
MEP Takkula comments: “The adoption of the report comes at a crucial moment as it will feed into the European Commission evaluation of sports policy in 2017. I am very proud that other MEPs have recognised that the time has come to significantly strengthen sports policy”.
Proposals in the report include:
•Encouraging EU Member States and the Commission to make physical activity a political priority at the next EU Work Plan on Sports, highlighting that sport should be better promoted across policy sectors
•Recommending Member States to introduce VAT-exemptions, tax breaks and other forms of financial incentives in grassroots sports
•Tackling current sports integrity issues such as third party ownership, match fixing and doping
•Improving accessibility to sports facilities
After the European Union held sports policy in 2009, following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the report aims to evaluate this policy path and build on the Fisas report of the European dimension on sport.
FESI Secretary General, Alberto Bichi fully endorses the European Parliament’s initiative and calls for it to be as ambitious as possible: “The report demonstrates the relevance of sports as a driver of growth and well-being across Europe and it is therefore essential to profile sports in the political agenda”.
ABOUT THE FEDERATION OF THE EUROPEAN SPORTING GOODS INDUSTRY & THE HOUSE OF SPORT- FESI represents the interests of approximately 1,800 sporting goods manufacturers through its 12 National Sporting Goods Industry Federations and its directly affiliated member companies. Moreover, 70 – 75 % of FESI’s membership is made up of SMEs. In total, the European Sporting Goods Industry employs directly and indirectly over 650,000 EU citizens and has an annual turnover of some 66 billion euro. Herein, FESI plays as the founder of the House of Sport alliance – together with its nineteen partners, a crucial role in raising awareness on the benefits of sports and physical activity through cross-sectoral cooperation. Note that FESI is also an official partner of the European Week of Sport. More information at: www.fesi-sport.org.