EU HEARS THE VOICE OF THE EUROPEAN SPORT MOVEMENT
23 April 2020
The European Commission and the European Council have backed the COVID-19 position paper, which was produced by the EOC EU Office with the SHARE initiative stakeholders and urged both entities to ensure that sport organisations are fully eligible for support under relevant EU funding schemes directed to overcome the coronavirus crisis.
This backing was confirmed following a meeting of European Sport Ministers held via videoconference on 21 April, to discuss the current impact of the pandemic and solutions for the future of sport.
In the official press release following the meeting, the Commission outlined its instruments and resources to provide assistance and invited Member States to use them for the sport sector. These include the Corona Crisis Investment Initiative (CRII), Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) and the Temporary Framework for State Aid.
Chair of the meeting, State Secretary of Croatian Central State Office of Sport Tomislav Družak voiced his support, “There is a lot of work in front of us to protect the sports sector and enable it to continue to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our citizens and the development of our society both in the current situation, but also in the post-pandemic period. But I am confident that the sports sector will emerge from this crisis as strong as ever.”
This successful outcome for the sport sector comes after the EOC position paper, endorsed by 44 organisations (including 18 National Olympic Committees), had been forwarded to the Croatian Presidency, President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and Commissioners Mariya Gabriel (Sport) and Elisa Ferreira (Cohesion Policy).
In order to benefit from the existing and upcoming funding schemes on European and national levels, it’s now up to the National Olympic Committees and national sport federations to enter or intensify negotiations with the national and regional governments in order to safeguard the full access of sport organisations to the funds.
In a number of EU-Member States, these discussions have already started on topics such as shorterm work or tax relief. In particular, the EU Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which amounts to €37 Billion from unused Structural Funds money, will be now implemented in a flexible way by national and regional authorities.
More information can be found here.