Tag Archives: Social integration

European dimension in sport

European dimension in sport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European dimension in sport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Sport

European dimension in sport

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 18 January 2011 – Developing the European Dimension in Sport [COM(2011) 12 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Building on the achievements of the White Paper on sport, this communication presents issues under the same three broad thematic areas that are to be addressed at the European Union (EU) level. Actions at this level aim at providing added value by supporting and complementing EU countries’ actions in the field of sport.

The societal role of sport

Sport can make a positive contribution to European growth, employability of citizens and social cohesion, while limiting health expenditure. However, sport continues to face threats related to doping, violence and intolerance, against which action must be taken to protect athletes and citizens.

The use of doping substances poses serious public health hazards, thus necessitating the stepping up of the fight against doping. Stakeholders have called for the EU to join the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention, to which end the Commission will propose a draft mandate for negotiating the EU’s accession. It is also essential to reinforce the measures preventing organised networks’ trade in doping substances. The Commission will examine ways to reinforce such measures, including through the introduction of criminal law provisions. The Commission already supports several organisations that play an important role in the fight against doping, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It will continue supporting transnational anti-doping networks.

The quality of sports programmes in educational institutions is not satisfactory in several EU countries. The quality of sport training centres and their staff should be high enough to safeguard athletes’ moral, educational and professional interests. To support education, training and qualifications in sport, the Commission and EU countries will draw up European guidelines on “dual careers” to ensure that quality education is provided alongside sport training. They will also support the referencing of sport-related qualifications to the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and promote the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning gained through sport-related activities.

A European approach is needed to prevent and fight against violence and intolerance, which continue to pose problems to European sport. The Commission and EU countries will therefore develop and implement security arrangements and safety requirements covering a wide range of sport disciplines (currently only international football events are covered). Furthermore, the Commission will support the fight against intolerance in sport and encourage EU countries to fully and effectively transpose the Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating racism and xenophobia.

Sport is fundamental for improving physical activity, which is an essential health determinant in today’s society. To enhance health through sport, the Commission and EU countries are further working on national guidelines encouraging the incorporation of physical activity into citizens’ daily lives, based on the 2008 EU Physical Activity Guidelines. There are great differences between EU countries regarding the concept of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA). To overcome these differences, the Commission will support transnational projects and networks in this area.

Social inclusion can be improved in and through sport. To this end, the Commission and EU countries will draw up accessibility standards for sport through the European Disability Strategy. They will also further promote the participation of persons with disabilities in sporting activities. In addition, the Commission will support transnational projects that promote women’s access to sport and disadvantaged groups’ social integration through sport.

The economic dimension of sport

Sport is an ever growing sector of the economy that contributes to growth and jobs. However, there is a need for comparable data to form the basis of evidence-based policy-making and for sustaining the financing of sport, in particular its non-profit structures.

Evidence-based policy-making is essential for implementing EU sport provisions. The Commission and EU countries will produce satellite accounts for sport to measure its economic importance. The Commission will also provide support to a network of universities to promote innovative and evidence-based sport policies, as well as study the possibility of setting up an EU sport monitoring function.

The sustainable financing of sport must be ensured. Intellectual property rights are an important source of revenue in the professional sports field; consequently, the Commission will take those arising in the coverage of sporting events into consideration in the implementation of the Digital Agenda initiative. It will also study the funding of grassroots sport, which will inform future action in this field. Furthermore, together with EU countries, the Commission will examine how the financial solidarity mechanisms in the sports sector may be strengthened.

Thus far, there have only been a few decisions on the application of EU state aid rules to sport. As a result, stakeholders are continually requesting for additional clarifications on the financing of infrastructure and sport organisations. Hence, the Commission will monitor the application of state aid law in the area of sport and, if the number of state aid cases increases, it will consider providing guidance.

Sport is a valuable tool for regional development and employability. To take advantage of this value, the Commission and EU countries will make full use of the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund to support sustainable sport structures.

The organisation of sport

The autonomy and self-regulation of sport organisations is underpinned by good governance in the sector. To promote good governance in sport at the European level, the Commission and EU countries will endorse common standards through the exchange of good practice and by providing targeted support to specific initiatives.

In order to support the correct application of the concept of the specific nature of sport, the Commission will provide theme-by-theme guidance on the relationship between EU law and sporting rules. It will also provide guidance on EU rules relating to the free movement and nationality of sportspeople, with a view to the organisation of non-discriminatory competitions in individual sports on a national basis.

In addition, the Commission will provide guidance on transfer rules, as player transfers often raise questions about their legality and the financing involved. It will assess both the economic and legal aspects relating to such transfers. The activities of sport agents also raise questions of ethical nature; consequently, the Commission will organise a conference to examine ways in which agents’ activities may be improved.

Within the professional football sector, a European social dialogue committee was already launched in 2008. Several organisations have called for the creation of European social dialogue for the whole sport sector, which the Commission is backing. To facilitate this process, the Commission will propose a test phase for the relevant social partners.

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Sport

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Document or Iniciative

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 of 1.6.2011].

Summary

The Treaty of Lisbon made sport a European Union (EU) area of competency, in which it can support, coordinate and complement the actions of its Member States. By promoting sustainable, smart and inclusive growth, and job creation, sport also contributes to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Furthermore, it has a positive effect on social inclusion, education, training, public health and active ageing.

In order to develop the European dimension in sport, the Council approves a 3-year work plan detailing the actions to be implemented by Member States and the Commission.

Three priority themes are identified and accompanied by actions for the period 2011-2014:

  • The integrity of sport, in particular the fight against doping and match-fixing. The actions defined to this end are:
    • prepare draft EU comments to the revision of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s world anti-doping code;
    • develop a European dimension of the integrity of sport with the focus on the fight against match-fixing;
    • develop principles of transparency concerning good governance and organisation of sport;
    • address the issues identified related to access to and to supervision of the profession of sport agents and to transfers in team sports (in particular the issue of the transfer of young players).
  • Social values of sport, in particular health, social inclusion, education and volunteering. The following actions must be carried out:

    • prepare a proposal for European guidelines on ‘dual careers’ aimed at ensuring that young athletes receive quality education alongside their sports training;
    • follow up on the inclusion of sport-related certificates in national qualifications frameworks with reference to the European Qualifications Framework;
    • explore ways to promote health enhancing physical activity and participation in grassroots sport.
  • Economic aspects of sport, in particular sustainable financing of sports and evidence-based policy making. Two actions are defined in this respect:

    • promote data collection to measure the economic benefits of the EU sport sector;
    • strengthen financial solidarity mechanisms between professional sport and grassroots sport.

Implementation

Implementation of the Work Plan will be supported by expert groups created by the Commission and the EU countries in the following areas: anti-doping; good governance in sport; education and training in sport; sport, health and participation; sport statistics and sustainable financing of sport.

The Commission will collaborate with the sports movement and competent organisations at national, European and international levels. It will submit a report by the end of 2013 evaluating the implementation of the Work Plan.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 18 January 2011 – Developing the European Dimension in Sport [COM(2011) 12 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

White Paper on sport of 11 July 2007, presented by the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee [COM(2007) 391 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market

Active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social inclusion and the fight against poverty

Active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation 2008/867/EC of 3 October 2008 on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market [Official Journal L 307 of 18.11.2008].

Summary

With this Recommendation, the Commission is encouraging Member States to take action for the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market. To this end, the Commission recommends that the Member States draw up and implement an integrated comprehensive strategy. The strategy should be composed of the following three strands:

  • sufficient income support;
  • inclusive labour markets;
  • access to quality services.

The actions should support the employment of those who can work, providing the resources required for a dignified life, and promote the social participation of those who cannot work.

The Member States are further recommended to ensure that the inclusion policies are effective. This should be done by:

  • combining the above three strands of the strategy in an appropriate manner;
  • implementing the strategy in an integrated manner across the three strands;
  • coordinating the policies among authorities at local, regional, national and European Union (EU) level;
  • including all relevant actors in the development, implementation and evaluation of the strategy.

In particular, the inclusion policies should take account of fundamental rights, the promotion of equal opportunities for all, the specific needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and the local and regional contexts. In addition, the inclusion policies should contribute to preventing the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Furthermore, the Commission recommends that the Member States organise and implement active inclusion policies with the detailed set of common principles and practical guidelines put forward in the document. With regard to:

  • sufficient income support, Member States should recognise and implement the right of individuals to adequate resources and social assistance as part of consistent and comprehensive efforts to fight social exclusion;
  • inclusive labour markets, Member States should provide assistance for those who can work to enter or re-enter and stay in employment that best relates to their capacity to work;
  • access to quality services, Member States should ensure that proper social support is given to those that require it, in order to promote social and economic inclusion.

The Member States are also recommended to ensure that the necessary resources and benefits are provided under the social protection instruments, taking into account the economic and budgetary constraints. Active inclusion measures may also be funded from the Structural Funds. Information about the rights and support measures available to all must be publicised widely, and if possible, through electronic means.

In addition, Member States should simplify administrative procedures. At the same time, access for the public to the appeals systems should be made easier.

Finally, the Commission is also recommending that the Member States take steps to enhance indicators and statistical data on active inclusion policies. The Open Method of Coordination (OMC) on social protection and inclusion should be employed for monitoring and evaluating these policies on the basis of close collaboration between the Social Protection and the Employment Committees and with the support of the activities funded by the Progress programme.

The active inclusion measures should be aligned with the social cohesion objectives of the Lisbon Strategy.

Background

Poverty and social exclusion are addressed, in particular, in the Council Recommendation 92/441/EEC of 24 June 1992 on common criteria concerning sufficient resources and social assistance in social protection systems. While this Recommendation still applies, additional measures need to be taken to implement it fully. Subsequent instruments include, among others, the OMC on social protection and inclusion and the European employment strategy. Furthermore, the persisting problems, especially in terms of poverty and joblessness, require that social protection systems are modernised and that comprehensive and integrated policies are initiated. These are the objectives of the “active inclusion” approach that complements social assistance benefits with support to enter the labour market and with access to quality services.

Social and economic integration of Roma

Social and economic integration of Roma

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Social and economic integration of Roma

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social inclusion and the fight against poverty

Social and economic integration of Roma

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 7 April 2010 – The social and economic integration of the Roma in Europe [COM(2010) 133 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a strategy which is to improve the economic and social integration of Roma in the European Union (EU). This action shall also be carried out in those countries involved in the EU enlargement process.

Improving the impact of existing policies

The EU has a set of legal instruments for combating discrimination (the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and legislation on non-discrimination and the free movement of persons), as well as funding to encourage social cohesion (the Structural Funds and the Instrument for pre-Accession Assistance (IAP)).

Instruments also exist at international and national levels. The Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have adopted initiatives for this purpose. Countries involved in the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 initiative have also adopted national action plans.

The Commission states that all existing initiatives must be:

  • better coordinated;
  • implemented better at local level;
  • accompanied by awareness-raising actions for Roma communities and the Roma population as a whole;
  • guided by desegregation policies;
  • included in more general policy strategies, such as those for education, employment, health and territorial development.

Improving the implementation of actions

European financial instruments are not optimised due to their complexity. The Commission shall therefore provide measures for technical assistance. In addition, existing resources shall be increased.

The Commission supports multisectoral, national and European strategies for tackling the marginalisation of Roma communities. It also encourages the participation of communities in developing and implementing strategies.

Adapting public policies

All relevant European and national policies shall contribute to the integration of the Roma. National public authorities shall exchange experiences, particularly through the EURoma Network.

In particular, the Commission shall:

  • organise meetings between the public authorities in EU countries;
  • support the creation of an academic network on Roma studies;
  • improve coordination between the structural funds and adapt the next generation of structural funds and programmes accordingly;
  • take account of the inclusion of Roma under the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the “European Platform against Poverty”, in particular;
  • encourage mutual learning in the area of employment;
  • take account of the inclusion of Roma in the enlargement process.

Improving policy coherence

In order to encourage coherent action and stakeholder responsibility, specifically the Commission shall:

  • support the development of the European Platform for Roma Inclusion;
  • assess policy implementation;
  • enable the Roma to access the political process.

Developing model intervention approaches

The Commission proposes to draft integration strategies adapted to the specific nature of each Roma community. This relates to situations where Roma communities:

  • live in urban districts close to other disadvantaged communities;
  • live in disadvantaged districts or rural settlements;
  • are mobile with citizenship of an EU country;
  • are mobile or sedentary with citizenship of a non-EU country (they may be refugees, stateless persons or asylum seekers).

Intervention approaches shall be developed to respond to core socio-economic needs, such as employment and self-employment, education, housing and health. They shall help to define types of funding, legislative tools and the role of each stakeholder involved.

Context

This Communication forms part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It is published in preparation for the 2nd European Roma Summit.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

National Roma Integration Strategies: Common European Framework

National Roma Integration Strategies: Common European Framework

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about National Roma Integration Strategies: Common European Framework

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social inclusion and the fight against poverty

National Roma Integration Strategies: Common European Framework

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 5 April 2011 – An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 [COM(2011) 173 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) invites its Member States to adopt national strategies aimed at improving the economic and social situation of Roma * by 2020. The Commission presents a framework of common European goals that complement the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Before the end of 2011, Member States are to propose integration strategies or packages of policy measures aimed at improving access by Roma:

  • to education, so that each child at least completes primary school;
  • to employment, health care, housing, and basic services (particularly public water, gas and electricity networks), so as to reduce existing disparities with the rest of the population.

The Commission is to carry out an assessment of these strategies in 2012 and monitor their implementation, by means of a monitoring mechanism involving various stakeholders. In this regard, it plans to present annual monitoring reports to the Council and the European Parliament.

Lastly, the Commission encourages reforms and the strengthening of the European Platform for Roma Inclusion.

Implementation of national strategies

National goals for Roma integration should be set, taking account of needs, constraints and the diverse situations in each Member State.

The preparation of integration strategies is to take place with the participation of the stakeholders concerned, in particular local and regional authorities, representatives of civil society and Roma.

A single national contact point is to be created in each Member State to monitor action.

Funding

Sources of funding for national strategies must be clearly identified. Such funding may come from national budgets, structural funds or other European funding (such as the Progress microfinance instrument, the Social Innovation Europe initiative, etc.) or international grants.

EU Enlargement

European goals for Roma integration apply to the countries concerned by EU enlargement policy. The Commission undertakes to support the efforts of those countries, including by increasing the European funding available.

In addition, the progress of each country will be monitored by the Commission and presented in annual enlargement reports.

Key terms
  • Roma: term used as an umbrella to refer to groups of people such as Sinti, Travellers, Kalé, Gens du Voyage, etc., whether sedentary or not.

Participation of young people with fewer opportunities

Participation of young people with fewer opportunities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Participation of young people with fewer opportunities

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Participation of young people with fewer opportunities

The European Union (EU) supports young people with fewer opportunities by helping them to realise their full potential and strengthening their participation in society.

Document or Iniciative

Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 22 May 2008 on the participation of young people with fewer opportunities [Official Journal, C 141, 7.6.2008].

Summary

Young people with fewer opportunities in society face specific difficulties because they come from less privileged educational, socio-economic or geographical backgrounds, or have a disability.

Their participation in the democratic, economic and cultural life of society needs to be given special attention at both national and Community level.

Strategic Approach

This Resolution invites Member States and the Commission to give priority to young people in vulnerable situations when implementing the Lisbon Strategy, the measures in the European Pact for Youth and national flexicurity strategies.

Member States must adopt an interdisciplinary approach when developing their specific policies and programmes. These strategies must be of a long-term nature and include early intervention measures. Guaranteeing easier access to EU programmes and Structural Funds will also support the social inclusion and participation in society of young people.

In particular, the Council invites the Commission to:

  • study national good practices in order to identify possible lines of action at European level that will facilitate the social inclusion of young people and their participation in society;
  • take these objectives into account when proposing the priorities for the future framework of cooperation in the field of youth.


Social Inclusion

The social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities must be a priority at both national and Community level. The EU social protection and social inclusion process helps to fight discrimination and to promote equal opportunities. Furthermore, as regards policies on health and living conditions, the social, economic and other factors that determine the well-being of young people need to be better monitored and studied.
Member States and the Commission must take action against social exclusion and against the intergenerational transmission of economic inactivity by supporting access to good employment opportunities and by improving the mechanisms for vocational guidance and counselling.

Active Citizenship

The Council requires Member States and the Commission to conduct a structured dialogue that is inclusive and suitable for all. Democratic and community involvement can be enhanced by informing young people and by developing innovative forms of participation, particularly through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Member States must support the work of youth organisations and social organisations, in particular by providing professional development opportunities for managers and youth workers.


Context


The European Pact for Youth contributes to the implementation of the renewed Lisbon Strategy.
It aims to improve education and training for young people, as well as their mobility. It gives priority to young people with fewer opportunities.

In this context, the Youth in Action Programme specifically encourages young people to participate in public life and fosters their spirit of initiative, entrepreneurship and creativity.

Related Acts

Presidency Conclusions, 13 and 14 March 2008. 7652/1/08 (pdf ).

The Council reaffirms the social dimension of the Lisbon Strategy. The priorities identified are combating poverty and social exclusion, promoting active inclusion and increasing employment opportunities for those furthest from the labour market.

Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 25 May 2007 on creating equal opportunities for all young people – full participation in society [Official Journal – 2007/C 314/01].

The Council notes that equality of opportunity means the right of all young people to a quality lifestyle, education, training, housing and work, and to access to social security, employment systems and social and political discussion.
The Council invites the Commission and all Member States to maintain a structured dialogue with young people in a variety of ways and to strengthen the impact of the open method of coordination when shaping policies for equal opportunities and social and professional integration.
The Council invites Member States to develop the regional and local dimensions of the European Pact for Youth and to enhance the effect that national policy has on the quality of life of young people.

European Progress Microfinance Facility

European Progress Microfinance Facility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Progress Microfinance Facility

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social inclusion and the fight against poverty

European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF)

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 283/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 March 2010 establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion.

Summary

The new European Progress Microfinance
*
Facility (EPMF) aims to support the creation and development of small enterprises and self-employment in the European Union (EU).

This facility is aimed at persons encountering difficulties in accessing conventional credit. It applies to:

  • the unemployed, persons at risk of losing their jobs, the non-working population, persons facing the threat of social exclusion and vulnerable persons;
  • micro-enterprises *, especially those in the social economy or those which employ socially-excluded persons.

Finance is allocated to public and private microfinance providers from EU countries. The EPMF is implemented through:

  • guarantees and risk-sharing instruments;
  • equity instruments;
  • debt instruments;
  • support measures, such as communication activities, monitoring, control, audit and evaluating the implementation of the facility.

The EPMF budget is EUR 100 million for the period 2010-2013. It shall be implemented in close cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and international financial institutions.

Key terms
  • Microfinance: in the EU, microcredit is defined as financial loans under EUR 25 000;
  • Micro-enterprise: an enterprise employing less than 10 people. In the EU small or micro-enterprises represent 91 % of enterprises and 99 % of start-ups. A third of them are created by unemployed people.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 283/2010/EU

8.4.2010

OJ L 87 of 7.4.2010