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Brussels, 18 November 2010
Results of EU Sport Council, Brussels, 18 November
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, today welcomed the Council's recognition of the role played by sport as a catalyst for social inclusion.
"I'm pleased that the Council fully recognised the value of sport in our societies as a source and driver for social development and change. Sport can open doors and give people a second chance,'" the Commissioner commented after the meeting.
She said the Commission is committed to working with national authorities and sports organisations to help address the challenges faced by disadvantaged groups, such as people who have left school with little or no qualifications, migrants, drug users and ex-offenders.
The Commission is already promoting social inclusion and other objectives through sport with funding from EU programmes and structural funds. It has, for instance, allocated more than €6 million to support around 40 projects promoting sport for health, education and training, sport for the disabled, gender equality, the fight against doping and volunteering.
Commissioner Vassiliou also welcomed the Council's decision to establish closer cooperation between Member States and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The EU has a legal responsibility under the Lisbon Treaty to promote fairness and openness in sporting competitions and to protect the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen, especially the youngest sportsmen and sportswomen.
"Doping has no place in sport and I am determined that we will work closely with WADA to stamp out abuses and ensure a level playing field in all sports. Doping isn't just bad for the sportspeople who risk damaging their health and ruining their careers, it also cheats the fans who want to see fairplay," said the Commissioner.
The Council also agreed to establish a high-level 'structured dialogue' on sport, involving representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, Council and the sport movement. "It is our objective that all relevant stakeholders in the sport movement participate in discussions at EU level on actions that concern them. This is another strong signal by the Council to recognise the important role of the sport movement," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
Website of Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.