On 24 January 2014, the European Commission adopted its Report on the implementation of the first EU Work Plan for Sport (2011-2014).
The Report draws a positive picture of achieved work outcomes, includes ideas for future priorities regarding EU cooperation on sport and makes proposals for adapted working methods. It will serve as a basis for the discussion in the Council on a Resolution on the second EU Work Plan for Sport, which is expected to be adopted by the Council in May.
The first EU Work Plan for Sport was adopted by the Council in form of a Resolution in May 2011 setting out priorities for the EU sport agenda. The implementation of the Work Plan involved the Member States, the Commission and sport stakeholders, and got support from six sport Expert Groups covering the areas of 'anti-doping', 'good governance', 'education and training', 'sport, health and participation', 'sustainable financing' and 'statistics'.
In its assessment the Commission looked into the progress achieved in the defined priority areas and more particularly the results delivered by these Expert Groups. Commissioner Vassiliou said:
"The 2011-2014 EU Work Plan for Sport has achieved positive results, thanks to a solid structure for cooperation, based on clear priorities and deliverables. It has helped us to advance EU policy in areas such as the fight against match-fixing and doping, as well as contributing to the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity among all ages.
We hope to see more concrete results soon, including the implementation of EU guidelines on dual careers for athletes and a strengthening of the evidence-base for sport policy. Our focus is to provide unambiguous added value and to ensure that sport is mainstreamed in other EU policy areas. I am confident that the next EU Work Plan for Sport will be equally, if not more successful.
Our report proposes to build on what we have achieved so far and proposes future priorities such as work on gender equality, recognition of non-formal and informal learning in sport, the sustainability of major sport events and the protection of young athletes. We are also aiming to further simplify and strengthen working methods between Member States and with sport stakeholders."
The Commission's Report will be the basis for the discussion on the second multi-annual EU Work Plan for Sport in the Council structures for sport, which just started. The Council is expected to adopt the Resolution on the new Work Plan in May so that implementation can start in the second half of 2014.