EESC opinion: White paper on sport

Key points

The EESC recommends that Member States define Community priorities from among the activities described in general terms by the White Paper and in the action plan it contains.

The EESC recommends that, when planning new programmes to promote health-enhancing sport, both Community and multidisciplinary dimensions should be taken into account.

The EESC would draw attention to the importance of implementing measures which are both necessary and consistent with the subsidiarity principle.

Compulsory physical education in both primary and secondary schools should be increased to at least three hours a week. More attention should be paid to the conditions under which sport is carried out.

The social partners at all levels should be encouraged to promote healthy lifestyles. Employers should be given incentives for measures to improve employees' health, including exercise programmes.

The EESC feels that it would be useful to launch information campaigns on new opportunities to apply for funding, given that up to now programmes have only offered limited opportunities for sport.

The EESC recommends that a separate envelope be established within the Structural Funds, which could be used for appropriate sport, leisure, community and multifunctional facilities.

The EESC welcomes the proposal to re-establish the Sports Forum, given its potential to serve as a valuable platform for dialogue between all key stakeholders and to develop concrete measures for securing improvements in the practice of sport.

Social dialogue should be broadened to include gyms and non-profit organisations as well as professional athletes. Member States should be encouraged to ensure that there is also national-level social dialogue in all fields of sport.