Tag Archives: White paper

White Paper on sport

White Paper on sport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on 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

White Paper on sport

Document or Iniciative

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].

Summary

This White Paper is the Commission’s main contribution to the theme of sport and its role in the daily lives of European citizens.

It recognises the impact which sport can have on all European policies.

It also identifies the needs and specific characteristics of the world of sport.

Lastly, it opens up future prospects for sport at European level, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity, the independence of sport organisations and Community law.

Objectives

The main objectives of the White Paper on Sport are to:

  • set strategic guidelines;
  • encourage debate on specific problems;
  • increase the visibility of sport in the EU decision-making process;
  • highlight the needs and specific characteristics of the sector;
  • identify the appropriate level of government for future action.

More specifically, the Commission intends to use this White Paper to:

  • ensure that the sport dimension is fully reflected in all areas of European policy;
  • increase legal clarity as regards the application of the acquis communautaire in the field of sport and thereby help to improve sport governance in Europe.

Thematic structure

Three themes are covered by the White Paper:

  • the “societal role of sport”, i.e. what sport represents as a social phenomenon;
  • the “economic dimension of sport”, i.e. the contribution of sport to growth and the creation of jobs in Europe;
  • the “organisation of sport”, i.e. the role of each stakeholder (public or private, economic or sporting) in the governance of the sports movement.

Action Plan

An Action Plan bearing the name of Pierre de Coubertin, in tribute to the father of the modern Olympic Games, completes this White Paper.

In this Action Plan, the Commission proposes a range of specific actions relating to the societal and economic aspects of sport, such as health, social inclusion, voluntary work, education or external relations.

The Action Plan includes the following proposals:

  • the development of guidelines on physical activity and the establishment of a European network for the promotion of sport as a health-enhancing activity;
  • greater coordination in the fight against doping at European level;
  • the award of a European label to schools which encourage involvement in physical activities;
  • the launch of a study on volunteer work in sport;
  • the improvement of social inclusion and integration through sport using European programmes and resources;
  • the promotion of the exchange of information, experiences and good practices between law-enforcement services and sport organisations for the prevention of racism and violence;
  • the promotion of the use of sport as a tool in European development policy;
  • the creation of statistics to quantify the economic impact of sport;
  • a study on public and private financing of sport;
  • an impact assessment on the activities of players’ agents and an evaluation of the value-added of possible Community intervention in this field;
  • better structuring of dialogue on sport at Community level, in particular through the organisation of an annual forum on sport;
  • intensification of intergovernmental cooperation in the field of sport;
  • promoting the creation of European social dialogue committees in the sport sector, and support for employers and employees.

Monitoring

The Commission will monitor the initiatives presented in this White Paper through a structured dialogue involving all the stakeholders in the world of sport:

  • European sport federations;
  • European umbrella organisations for sport, such as the European Olympic Committees (EOC), the European Paralympic Committee (EPC) and European non-governmental sport organisations;
  • national umbrella organisations for sport and national Olympic and Paralympic Committees;
  • other stakeholders in the field of sport represented at European level, including the social partners;
  • other European and international organisations (bodies of the Council of Europe and the United Nations, UNESCO, WHO, etc.).

Background

Sport, as a social and economic phenomenon, contributes to the achievement of the European Union’s strategic objectives of solidarity and prosperity. It conveys the concepts of peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and education, in line with the European ideal.

Today, sport is confronted with new problems, such as commercial pressure, trafficking in human beings, doping, racism, violence, corruption and money laundering.

The European Council recognised the essential role of sport in its Declaration of December 2000. The European Council of June 2007 set a mandate for the Intergovernmental Conference, according to which a provision in the future Treaty will be devoted to sport.

This White Paper stems from wide-ranging consultations started in 2005 of, in particular, the Olympic Committees, sport federations and the Member States.

 

White Paper on Communication

White Paper on Communication

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Communication

Topics

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

Institutional affairs > The decision-making process and the work of the institutions

White Paper on Communication

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 1 February 2006, “White Paper on a European communication policy” [COM(2006) 35 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This White Paper has made it possible to launch a broad consultation to improve communication and enhance public debate in Europe. For six months, the Institutions, EU citizens and stakeholders had the opportunity to make their contributions to European communication policy.

The Commission identified five areas for action. Specific proposals, which the consultation was intended to address, were put forward for implementation in each area. The Commission also organised a series of “stakeholder forums” which gave specific interest groups the opportunity to state their opinions on these matters. Lastly, from spring 2006, it has been publishing Eurobarometer surveys.

Defining Common Principles

The European Union’s communication policy derives from several principles such as the right to information and freedom of expression, the inclusion of all citizens in public debate, diversity and participation.

To put these principles into action, the Commission is submitting the following measures for consultation:

  • Drawing up a European charter or code of conduct on communication: This document will gather together the common principles on communication and ask all the stakeholders to commit to them;
  • Launching a web-based citizens’ forum: This forum will allow citizens to be consulted on the content of the European charter or code of conduct on communication.

Empowering Citizens

Improving civic education and connecting citizens with each other and with the public institutions: if we are to involve citizens more, these are the goals we must achieve. The European Union can provide support for Member States with regard to civic education thanks to programmes such as Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Erasmus, Youth in action, or programmes in the field of information technologies.

In order to connect with citizens, both direct contact between citizens and the EU and indirect contact, such as Internet discussion forums, should be promoted. In fact, the Commission has designed a programme, Citizens for Europe, which enables EU citizens to meet and organise public debates on Europe. It also intends to take stock of existing schemes to exploit their full potential.

Lastly, to connect citizens with public institutions, European Institutions should first be made more accessible and more transparent. The European Parliament and the Council have made significant efforts in that direction. As for the Commission, it has established minimum standards for consultation, launched its own European Transparency Initiative, and intends to make a determined effort to promote multilingualism.

To keep in touch with citizens, the Commission is taking action in the following areas:

  • fostering the exchange of best practices with regard to civic education, developing of common educational tools, and lastly, getting European teachers who teach civic education into a network;
  • connecting all European libraries digitally;
  • setting up new meeting places for Europeans;
  • extending the programmes which enable citizens to visit the Institutions;
  • adding online forums to EU websites;
  • reviewing the minimum standards for consultation to ensure a more balanced representation of interest groups;
  • organising joint open debates during which the three main Institutions would take questions from the public.

Working with the media and new technologies

There is not enough media coverage of European issues. To improve this, the Commission would like to begin by making Europe more human. It is too often seen as faceless – it needs a clear public identity. Also, more account needs to be taken of the national, regional and local dimension. European issues should not only be addressed by specialised media – they should also be debated nationally and locally. The European Institutions should also put European policies in a local context. Lastly, the potential of new technologies needs to be exploited more fully. New technologies should not only be promoted, as they are one of the tools of cross-border democracy, they should also be made more widespread to grant everyone access.

In order to involve the media more effectively in communicating on Europe, the Commission proposes to:

  • devise a European communication policy that encourages the public authorities to work more with the media;
  • equip the EU Institutions with the best communication tools and capacities. To achieve this, Europe By Satellite should first be upgraded, but also a European programme for training in public communication should be set up to provide officials from European and national institutions with training in communication;
  • adapt the information provided to the media to the needs of the local populations;
  • draft a report on information technologies and democracy in Europe in order to better assess citizens’ access to the new communication tools.

Understanding European Public Opinion

In this area, the Commission has already successfully developed tools to analyse public opinion, such as Eurobarometer surveys, and independent social research on European issues. Furthermore, the methodology for Eurobarometer surveys is being reviewed.

Additional measures could be taken to gauge European opinion:

  • strengthening cooperation between the European Institutions to design and plan Eurobarometer surveys and disseminate the results;
  • accompanying every new Eurobarometer survey with public debates;
  • organising polls and surveys on EU communication from spring 2006;
  • setting up a network of national experts on public opinion surveys;
  • creating an independent observatory for European public opinion.

Working Together

Creating a European public sphere requires commitment from everyone involved: the Member States, the EU Institutions, local and regional authorities, political parties and, lastly, the civil society organisations. For the benefit of all of these, the Commission is putting forward a series of actions to enable them to participate more in communication about Europe:

  • increasing cooperation between the national and European levels: the vehicles of cooperation could be either financial or operational, such as making available the European information networks and relays. Meetings between national ministers and European Commissioners will be built up. Lastly, Member States could organise public and parliamentary discussions on the Commission’s annual strategic priorities;
  • increasing cooperation among national authorities dealing with public communication with a view to developing joint initiatives and sharing best practices;
  • communicating more about the EU’s role in the world: this is an effective way to involve the citizens of Europe themselves. To achieve it, more resources need to be allocated to diplomacy;
  • increasing cooperation between the EU Institutions with regard to informing citizens, for example by improving the organisation of the InterInstitutional Group on Information;
  • having the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions increase their efforts to organise regional and local discussion of European issues;
  • encouraging political parties to become more involved in European political issues;
  • encouraging civil society organisations to devise targeted cooperation projects in the field of public communication.

Organisation of the consultation

The consultation process on this White Paper is planned to last six months, from February until July 2006

At the end of this consultation, working groups comprising representatives of the Commission and of its partners have been set up for each of the areas for action identified. They have been asked to produce concrete proposals for action. The Commission has outlined a number of measures in this Communication to improve the way the EU informs and listens to the public. They are the result of the extensive White Paper consultation, launched in February 2006, which has since then prompted hundreds of responses.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 3 October 2007 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Communicating Europe in Partnership[COM(2007) 569 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission of 13 October 2005to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – The Commission’s contribution to the period of reflection and beyond – Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate [COM(2005)494 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication to the Commission of 20 July 2005, “Action Plan to Improve Communicating Europe by the Commission” [SEC(2005) 985 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This fact sheet is not legally binding on the European Commission, it does not claim to be exhaustive and does not represent an official interpretation of the text of the Treaty.

 

Atypical acts

Atypical acts

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Atypical acts

Topics

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

Institutional affairs > The decision-making process and the work of the institutions

Atypical acts

INTRODUCTION

Atypical acts are acts adopted by the institutions of the European Union (EU). These acts are described as “atypical” because they are not part of the nomenclature of legal acts provided for by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (Articles 288 to 292).

There is therefore a wide variety of atypical acts. Some are provided for by other provisions of the founding Treaties of the EU, while others have been developed by institutional practice.

Atypical acts are differentiated by their application, which is generally political. However, some may be binding, but this remains limited to the EU’s institutional framework.

Atypical acts provided for by the Treaties

The EU institutions’ Rules of Procedure are atypical acts. The founding Treaties provide that the EU institutions shall adopt their own Rules of Procedure.

The Rules of Procedure lay down the organisation, operation and internal rules of procedure of the EU institutions. They have binding effect only for the institution concerned.

The founding Treaties also provide for other types of act adopted in the context of political dialogue between the EU institutions. These acts are essentially intended to facilitate work and cooperation between the institutions. For example, in the context of the procedure for the adoption of international agreements, the Council must send negotiating guidelines to the Commission for the negotiation of the agreements.

The institutions may also go further by organising their cooperation by means of interinstitutional agreements. These types of agreement are also atypical acts. They may have binding effect, but only for the institutions which have signed the agreement.

Atypical acts not provided for by the Treaties

Each of the EU institutions has developed a series of instruments in the context of its own activity.

For example, the European Parliament expresses some of its political positions at international level by means of resolutions or declarations. Similarly, the Council regularly adopts conclusions, resolutions or guidelines following its meetings. These acts essentially express the institutions’ opinion on certain European or international issues. They have general application but do not have binding effect.

The Commission also adopts several atypical acts which are specific to it. These are communications, which generally present new policy programmes. The Commission also adopts green papers which are intended to launch public consultations on certain European issues. It uses these to gather the necessary information before drawing up a legislative proposal. Following the results of the green papers, the Commission sometimes adopts white papers setting out detailed proposals for European action.