Sport helps meet the EU’s strategic objectives, brings to the fore key educational and cultural values and is a conduit of integration, since it is open to all members of the public, regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, religion, age, nationality, social situation or sexual orientation. Sport is a tool to tackle intolerance, xenophobia and racism.
Sporting activities allow all people to channel their hopes in a constructive way, enriching them with the values that sport entails such as hard work, solidarity and cohesion. Such activities also bring physical and mental well-being while helping to alleviate social problems by providing positive values.
Volunteering has a key role to play in the development of grassroots sport and in clubs, affording it considerable value from a social, economic and democratic point of view.
The principle of good governance and sound management should ensure integrity in sporting competitions.
The EESC supports strengthening the role of sport as a driver of innovation and economic growth.
With an eye to the development of the sports sector, steps should be taken to foster at different levels the use of EU funding instruments.
At European level, efforts should be made to promote social cohesion, measures to include disadvantaged groups in sporting activities and social integration.
The EU has an important role to play in tackling inequality with a view to removing the barriers that prevent people with disabilities and older people from taking part in sport.
Special attention should be devoted by the EU and Member States to promoting sport and physical exercise amongst older people.