Grassroots Sport and the European Union

The EU Social Policies and Consumer Protection Sub-Committee conducted an Inquiry into Grassroots Sport and the European Union. 

The Lisbon Treaty introduced a specific competence for the EU in the area of sport (Article 165). Sport primarily remains a competence of individual Member States but the EU can now take action to:

  • Coordinate and support Member States’ actions
  • Make recommendations to Member States
  • Ensure that sport is considered across other relevant EU policy areas
  • Provide a limited funding stream for transnational sports projects

A Commission Communication on implementing the Lisbon provisions, setting out the EU’s strategic vision until 2015, is due before the end of the year. It will be accompanied by a draft Decision establishing the Sports Programme (funding stream). This will initially cover the period 2012-2013 and a full programme will begin with the EU's next long-term budget in 2014. The Committee gathered evidence to inform its response to the Commission Communication and published a report making recommendations to the Government and to the European institutions. The European Commission responded to the report on 28 September 2011, which follows the Government’s response that was received on 22 May 2011. A debate was held on the floor of the House on 10 November 2011.