Written by Vivienne Halleux,
On your marks, get set, go! Saturday 10 September 2016 will mark the official launch of the second edition of the annual European Week of Sport. Under the motto ‘Be Active’, this EU-wide initiative is aimed at encouraging more Europeans to do sport and get physically active, helping to raise awareness about the numerous benefits of both and support a change of habits. It is part of the European Union’s response to tackling the physical activity crisis currently facing Europe. The last Eurobarometer survey on this issue reveals that 59% of Europeans never or seldom do any exercise or sport. Participation in sporting and physical activity is stagnating, and even declining in some EU countries. This is a matter of particular concern, since a lack of physical activity not only has a significant impact on people’s health, but can also entail considerable direct and indirect social and economic costs in terms of health care, productivity and employability.
See also our topical digest on
‘EU Sport policy and issues‘
The European Week of Sport is organised both at EU and at national, regional and local levels, with the help of national coordinators and in partnership with sports organisations and stakeholders. It is structured around four focus themes, reflecting the main settings in which people do exercise: Education environment; Workplace; Outdoors; Sport Clubs and Fitness Centres. A wide range of activities and events will be organised around these themes.
On 15 September 2016, the Brussels Flagship Event, consisting of a series of workshops and a conference, devoted this year to the topical issue of ‘Good Governance in Sport’, will bring together decision-makers, stakeholders and experts from across Europe. Among the expected participants are high-level representatives of major sport federations, European and national Olympic Committees, as well as representatives of the EU institutions, Member States and other European/international organisations.
The implementation of the European Week of Sport is supported through specific funding under the sport strand of the Erasmus+ programme.
A number of EPRS publications examine the EU’s role and involvement in sport, as well as issues that have been on the sport agenda in recent months. They cover, inter alia, the emergence and development of an EU sport policy; the topics of corruption and good governance, notably in football; the problem of match-fixing and the policy responses to this global issue; and the much-debated practice of ‘third-party ownership’ of football players. The programme Erasmus+, which provides funding for sport-related projects, and its implementation, are also examined.