Reference VS/2015/0333
Programme Prerogatives
Call for proposals VP/2015/001
Total costs EU Contribution
Initial €219,201.77 €177,220.24
Final €167,089.58 €125,381.19
Ultimate Target Groups
Employers Employees
Policy Areas
Sports and leisure
Association without Legal Form/International/Trade Union Organisation
Registration Number: 00851003269
VAT Number: Not Applicable
BE - Belgium
Private Law Body/Non-profit/National/NGO
Registration Number: 898584937
VAT Number: BE0898584937
1050 – BRUSSEL
BE - Belgium

Since the start of the test phase of the European sectoral social dialogue committee (ESSDC) for sport and active leisure in 2012 the social partners UNI Europa Sport and the European Association of Sports Employers (EASE) have been working towards increasing its representativeness in order to meet the criteria required for an official social dialogue committee to be launched.

Alongside its capacity-building efforts the committee has primarily dedicated itself to issues that cut across the three sub-sectors - not-for-profit sport, professional sport, and active leisure. Two joint guidelines - on working time and on health and safety - have been agreed upon and widely disseminated. An additional output of the committee's work will be the launch of an Online interactive risk assessment (OiRA) tool in the fall of 2015. The tool, being developed in collaboration with EU-OSHA, will facilitate the risk assessment process for small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the entire sector while generally raising awareness for health and safety on both sides of labour. Furthermore, a joint statement on strengthening employability in the sport and active leisure sector is currently being drafted and expected to be approved at the ESSDC plenary meeting in November 2015

In 2014 UNI Europa Sport conducted a successful project (VS/2013/0417 - "Supporting the test phase of the ESSDC in the European sport sector") that complemented the work of the committee and helped in various ways to implement the work programme and to disseminate joint outputs. All project activities were organized in close collaboration with the social partner EASE, adhering to the shared notion that the success of the test phase depends on the willingness of all stakeholders to work together.

In this spirit, the social partners in May 2015 signed a covenant with EuropeActive and the European Confederation of Outdoor Employers (EC-OE), two European trade associations from the active leisure sector, that recently conducted a successful Commission-funded project (VS/2013/0374 - "DIAL - Social Dialogue in Active Leisure") to generate support for social dialogue among its members. Both organisations represent employer organisations but are committed to build capacity also on the employee side. In the light of the above the four organisations have jointly decided to apply for a new project that will play a critical role in the social partners' efforts to become an official ESSDC.

The three sub-sectors of the industry were targeted. This means professional sport, active leisure and the not for profit sectors. The action consisted in organizing six round tables and a plenary finalizing the project after an 18 months duration. A preparatory meeting kicked off the activities. This gave a chance to the project steering group to discuss concretly the action and the organisation of the different activities. During the roundtables the joint outputs of the ESSDC for sport and the tools created were shared with the delegates. Dissemination of outcomes and the best practices exchange were successful.

The main objectives of the action can be summarized as follows:

• Strengthening the capacity of the social partners in Member States where social dialogue does not exist or may be improved in order to raise the representativeness of the ESSDC as a whole

• Disseminating and promoting the outcomes of the ESSDC, in particular the "Guidelines on health and safety in the sport and active leisure sector", the Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool and the "Joint statement on strengthening employability in the sport and active leisure sector"

• Strengthening joint approaches on priority issues such as health and safety and employability (dual careers for professional sport), and improving the mobility of workers

• Exchanging best practices and expertise on measures to strengthen employability and growth across the sector such as life-long learning opportunities, skills development, transparency of recognition of qualifications and certificates of learning (non-formal learning)

• Helping to implement the work programme of the ESSDC

• Gathering insight from national affiliates to inform future initiatives of the ESSDC

The main objectives fixed by the partners during the drafting of the project have been reached. In our conclusions presented at the plenary in Berlin and shared with our affiliates at the ESSDC for sport and active leisure, a better understanding from delegates of the role and the benefits of national and European Social Dialogue has been highlighted. At the plenary meeting, delegates shared relevant reasons on how ESSDC & EU funding can contribute to the development of the national sport sector.

The results and benefits for each targeted group were presented as follow at the plenary:

1. Professional sub-sector

  • Strengthening:Consolidation of UBE (basketball alliance). An action plan was drafted
  • Dissemination of outcomes was successful
  • Best practice exchange and mutual learning was achieved
  • Insight from national affiliates were taken into consideration
  • A Czech player association was formed
  • We strengthened the approach to player development

2. Active Leisure

  • Dissemination of outcomes was a success
  • Best practice exchange and mutual learning was achieved
  • Priority issues for the sector such as mobility was pointed out
  • Succesful joint approach to organise the fitness sub-sector
  • Real enthusiasm shown by Polish, Czech Republic, Romanian and Hungarian delegates to get structured and organised -> strenghtening capacity building


  • Best practice exchange and mutual learning was achieved
  • Successful dissemination of outcomes
  • Insight from national affiliates
  • Implementation of the ESSDC and dissemination of the tools of the committee was achieved

Delegates feedback from the three sub-sectors were positive and encouraging. As well, all activities of the action gave a chance to both sides of the industry to understand face to face the weaknesses and main issues (qualifications, mobility, insurance, working conditions, gender equality, good governance, skills, recognition, etc) the sector is facing. This was a real opportunity for the sector to identify the priorities and the tools to be used to tackle the various issues the sector is facing.

Moreover, it was highlighted by the invitees that this kind of action facilitate networking and can help in organising. Following the action, invitees from the roundtables (strong interest from the Eastern countries) have contacted the EU social partners to help them in organising and take some step forward in the joint efforts.

Delegates highly encouraged social dialogue initiative which help them to feel less isolated and to realise that other countries are experiencing similar issues. They are all calling for additional similar meetings in the future.