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Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on a European Union Work Plan for Sport for 2011-2014

OJ C 162, 1.6.2011, p. 1–5 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
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Official Journal of the European Union

C 162/1

Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on a European Union Work Plan for Sport for 2011-2014

2011/C 162/01



RECALL the competence assigned to the European Union, in particular by Article 6 and Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, according to which sport is an area where action at EU level should support, coordinate and supplement the actions of Member States.

RECOGNISE that after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, there is a need for reinforced cooperation in sport at EU level.

WELCOME the Commission's Communication on Developing the European Dimension in Sport  (1) and the main fields of action within its thematic chapters which build on the White Paper on Sport (2). The Communication is an important step toward the identification of areas for cooperation at EU level whilst respecting the autonomy of sport's governing structures and the principle of subsidiarity.

ACKNOWLEDGE that sport can contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

RECALL the Council resolution of 18 November 2010 where the Council agreed to convene, on a regular basis, generally in the margins of the Council meeting, an informal meeting of leading representatives of the EU public authorities and the sports movement with the aim of exchanging views on sporting issues in the EU (3).

AGREE to foster a framework of European cooperation in the field of sport by establishing a three-year EU Work Plan on Sport for Member State and Commission action, recognising and taking into account the achievements of the work in the informal structures established prior to the Lisbon Treaty.


CONSIDER that the three-year EU Work Plan on Sport should be governed by the following guiding principles:

to promote a cooperative and concerted approach among Member States and the Commission to delivering added value in the field of sport at EU level over the longer term,

to align the existing informal structures with the priorities defined in this Work Plan,

to give impetus and prominence as appropriate to Commission actions in the field,

to address transnational challenges using a coordinated EU approach,

to promote the specific nature and contribution of sport in other EU policy domains,

to work towards evidence-based sport policy.

UNDERLINE that this EU Work Plan should be a flexible framework which is capable of responding when appropriate to developments in the field of sport.

WELCOME the themes identified in the Communication and the White Paper which serve as a general basis for future cooperation and which are the following:


the societal role of sport:

fight against doping,

education, training and qualifications in sport,

prevention of and fight against violence and intolerance,

health-enhancing physical activity,

social inclusion in and through sport,

voluntary activity in sport,

cooperation with third countries and organisations,

sustainable development in and through sport;


the economic dimension of sport:

evidence-based policy-making in the field of sport,

sustainable financing of sport,

application of EU State aid rules to sport,

regional development and employability;


the organisation of sport:

good governance in sport,

the specific nature of sport,

free movement and nationality of sportspeople,

transfer rules and activities of sport agents,

integrity of sporting competitions, including match fixing, corruption, money-laundering and other forms of financial crime,

European social dialogue in the sport sector,

protection of minors,

licensing system of clubs,

media rights and intellectual property rights.

AGREE on the basis of the general list above, that the following themes should be given priority by Member States and the Commission for the period covered by the present work plan (up to mid-2014). These priority themes can be complemented by each Presidency in the light of any possible new developments:

integrity of sport, in particular the fight against doping, match-fixing and the promotion of good governance,

social values of sport, in particular health, social inclusion, education and volunteering,

economic aspects of sport, in particular sustainable financing of grassroots sports and evidence-based policy making.

AGREE on a list of specific actions in line with these priority themes and a timetable for their implementation, as set out in Annex I.




There is a need to strengthen cooperation between the Member States and the Commission after the entry intro force of the Lisbon Treaty, based on the guiding principles listed in Section 2 of this Work Plan.

There is also a need for the EU to work closely with the sport movement and relevant competent organisations at national, European and international levels such as the Council of Europe, in particular through structured dialogue.


AGREE that:

Activities at EU level in the field of sport should focus on the priority themes, actions and working methods listed in this Work Plan.

The implementation of this Work Plan will be supported by a number of informal expert groups which will build on the work of six existing expert groups (4) established since 2005.

The expert groups will be requested to focus their work on the priority themes outlined in Section 2 and on actions and target dates listed in Annex I. The actions in Annex I may be revised by the Council and the Representatives of Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council in the light of results achieved and policy developments at EU level.

The principles relating to membership and functioning of the expert groups are set out in the Annex II.

In addition to expert groups, other working methods may include e.g. Presidency conferences, informal meetings of Sports Directors and Ministers, Commission studies and conferences.

In the first half of 2014, the implementation of the present Work Plan will be evaluated by the Council on the basis of a report prepared by the Commission by the end of 2013.



The Council and the Representatives of Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, invite the Member States and the Commission to establish expert groups on the following subjects for the duration of the current Work Plan:


good governance in sport,

education and training in sport,

sport, health and participation,

sport statistics,

sustainable financing of sport.



work together with the support of the Commission and using the working methods specified by this Resolution,

whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity and the autonomy of sport's governing structures take due account of this Work Plan when developing policy at national level,

regularly inform sport stakeholders on progress made in implementing the EU Work Plan, in order to ensure the relevance and visibility of the activities.


take into account, in the context of the Team Presidency, the EU Work Plan priority themes when developing their programme, to report on the implementation of the Work Plan and to build upon the results achieved,

at the end of the three years covered by the present Resolution, and on the basis of a report prepared by the Commission, propose a new Work Plan for the next period.


inform the Member States on ongoing or planned initiatives in other EU policy areas impacting on sport and respective developments in the Commission and in other Council formations,

work with and support the Member States in cooperating within the framework set out in the present Resolution,

examine means to facilitate the widest possible participation of Member States at the expert group meetings,

organise on an annual basis an EU Sport Forum, bringing together all the key stakeholders at different levels of sport, paying particular attention to grassroots sport organisations and their representatives,

undertake an impact assessment based inter alia on the evaluation of preparatory actions in sport to date to determine the added value of a specific funding programme to cover actions in the area of sport,

adopt, before the end of 2013 and on the basis of voluntary contributions from Member States, a report on the implementation and relevance of the Work Plan. This report will be the basis for the preparation of the next Council Work Plan during the first half of 2014.



continue close cooperation at expert level in accordance with Annexes I and II to this Resolution;


take sport into account when formulating, implementing and evaluating policies and actions in other policy fields, with particular attention to ensuring early and effective inclusion in the policy development process;


promote better recognition of the contribution of sport to the overall goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy given the sector's strong potential to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and new jobs and considering its positive effects on social inclusion, education and training as well as public health and active ageing;


foster cooperation with third countries, in particular candidate countries and potential candidates, and the competent international organisations in the field of sport including the Council of Europe.

(1)  COM(2011) 12.

(2)  COM(2007) 391.

(3)  OJ C 322, 27.11.2010, p. 1.

(4)  Previously referred to as ‘EU Working Groups’ on Anti-Doping, Education and Training in Sport, Sport and Health, Social Inclusion and Equal Opportunities in Sport, Sport and Economics, and Non-Profit Sport Organisations.


Actions based on priority themes


Expert Group

Output and target date

Integrity of sport, in particular the fight against doping and match-fixing and the promotion of good governance

Prepare draft EU comments to the revision of the WADA Code

Expert Group ‘Anti-Doping’

Preliminary draft EU comments by early 2012 and related follow-up

Develop a European dimension of the integrity of sport with the initial focus on the fight against match-fixing

Expert group ‘Good Governance in Sport’

Recommendations for future consideration by mid-2012

Develop principles of transparency concerning good governance

Expert Group ‘Good Governance in Sport’

Initial set of recommendations for consideration by end-2012

Address the issues identified related to access to and to supervision of the profession of sport agents and to transfers in team sports, including, in particular, the issue of transfer rules for young players

Expert Group ‘Good Governance in Sport’

Follow-up of Commission conference on sport agents and forthcoming study on transfers in team sports by mid-2013/end-2013, respectively

Social values of sport, in particular health, social inclusion, education and volunteering

Prepare a proposal for European guidelines on dual careers

Expert Group ‘Education and Training in Sport’

Proposal for European guidelines by end-2012

Follow-up to the inclusion of sport-related qualifications in NQFs with reference to EQF

Expert Group ‘Education and Training in Sport’

Summary on follow-up by mid-2013

Explore ways to promote health enhancing physical activity and participation in grassroot sport

Expert Group ‘Sport, Health and Participation’

Identification of measures by mid-2013

Economic aspects of sport, in particular sustainable financing of grassroots sports and evidence-based policy making

Recommend ways to promote data collection to measure the economic benefits of the EU sport sector in line with the Vilnius Definition and evaluate the results

Expert Group ‘Sport Statistics’

Recommendations for consideration by mid-2012, and evaluation of the results by end-2013

Recommend ways to strengthen financial solidarity mechanisms within sport

Expert Group ‘Sustainable Financing of Sport’

Recommendations for consideration by end-2012


Principles relating to the membership and functioning of expert groups established by the Member States and the Commission in the framework of the EU Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014


The participation of Member States in the work of the groups is voluntary and Member States can join them at any time.

Member States interested in participating in the work of the groups will nominate experts as members of the respective groups. Member States will ensure that the nominated experts have relevant experience in the relevant field at national level and will ensure effective communication with competent national authorities. The Commission will coordinate the nomination exercise.

Each expert group can decide to invite other participants: independent experts, representatives of the sport movement and other stakeholders, as well as representatives of European third countries.

Working procedures

Expert groups will concentrate on delivering concrete and useable results on the subject requested.

To implement this Work Plan, each expert group will be responsible for appointing its chair or co-chairs at the first expert group meeting after the adoption of the Work Plan. Each expert group will prepare a work schedule according to this Work Plan.

The Member States will be given an opportunity to give guidance to the expert groups in order to guarantee the desired outcome and timeline, as well as the coordination of the groups’ work.

The Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, will decide whether it is appropriate to propose new actions for the expert groups.

The Commission will provide expertise, as well as logistical and secretarial support to the work of the groups. As far as possible, it will support the groups by other suitable means (including studies relevant to their field of work).

Expert groups will meet in Brussels as a main rule, but can organise meetings outside Brussels when invited by a Member State.

Expert groups will meet as a main rule twice a year, but can adopt a different timetable if needed.

Reporting and information

The chairs of the expert groups will report to the Working Party on Sport on the progress of work in the respective expert groups and present recommendations on possible future actions to the Working Party on Sport.

The meeting agendas and meeting reports of all groups will be available to all Member States, irrespective of their degree of participation in a given area. The reports of the groups will be published.

The reports from the expert groups will feed into the report by the Commission on the implementation of the Work Plan.