On the 11th June 2014, the European Commissioner for Education and responsible for sport, Androulla Vassiliou, presented the projects and actions related to the European Week of Sport. which will be held for the first time in September 2015.
This event, which will be dedicated each year to the sport sector, will be held for the first time in September 2015 and aims to promote physical activity, sport and well-being at all levels in order to try to cope with the inactivity of European citizens.
Indeed, the lack of interest in sport by the Europeans was demonstrated by the publication of the results of the latest Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity. According to the survey, 59% of European Union citizens never or seldom exercise or play sport, while 41% do so at least once a week. The sportiest citizens in Europe are northern Europeans with Swedish, Danish and Finnish people. On the opposite side, Bulgarian, Maltese, Portuguese, Romanian and Italian citizens are those who play less sport. The survey will help identify priorities and measures to encourage physical activity.
During this week which will be entirely dedicated to the sport, the Commission will coordinate events and initiatives across Europe; among the possible activities, awareness-raise activities will be considered very important. Organizations participating in the implementation of activities will benefit from the assistance and advices of the Commission and the label “European Sport Week will be assigned to the participants.
The European Commission will finance the European Week of sport through Erasmus + programme, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport.
The main novelty of Erasmus +
For the first time after 25 years of existence, the Erasmus + programme includes a section dedicated to the sport with a budget of around € 265 million for the next seven years.
The innovative aspect of the programme is to develop a European dimension of sport and particularly to improve the general framework in which sports take place in the European Union and to address problems that prevent them from responding to their social and economic mission. The budget line will support actions in the field of sport by launching grants on the basis of two categories of actions: actions to support non-profit sport events and actions to boost collaborative partnerships in the field.
Some calls for proposals concerning Erasmus Sport + have already been launched in December 2013 and the deadline for submission of applications was set for the 26th June 2014.
The European sports policy
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the EU has acquired for the first time a specific competence in the field of sport. Indeed, Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union describes in detail the sport policy.
What is interesting to note is the will of Europe to develop its sport policy for some years now.
The first step towards this competence supporting national policies, was the 2007 White Paper for a global initiative in the field of sport. Then, in 2009, the European Parliament called on the Commission to propose a European Programme for sport and preparatory actions in the field of sport. Finally, the Commission has decided not to create an ad hoc programme for sport, but to insert it as a sub-programme within Erasmus +.
This is how Erasmus + Sport took shape containing an overall goal of promoting European values including the social and educational role of sport, encouraging the adoption of an active lifestyle and boosting cooperation with third countries and international organizations in the field of sport.