Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council of Sports 2013

Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council in the field of sport will continue implementation of the programme which includes collaboration of Ireland, Lithuania and Greece. During the presidency Lithuania will contribute to the unified topic of the three countries - sport as a sector's contribution to the economy and the labor market, with special focus on currently highly topical problem of youth unemployment, as well as the role of sport in promoting social cohesion and public health promotion.

Lithuanian program includes three themes reflecting precisely these common goals. The main goal of Lithuanian presidency is not the quantity but the quality and coordination of common interests. It is planned that during this semester two documents will be adopted, while the third will be the subject for political debate.

 

Recommendation of the Council - HEPA

The first legal document in sport would be Recommendation of the Council on health promotion through physical activity (HEPA). This document is important in that it provides ways of promoting physical activity and thereby improving public health. The World Health Organization identifies the lack of physical activity as a fourth risk factor contributing to mortality and diseases. It is estimated that in the European region we lose about 1 mln of people every year.  In addition, the EU population levels of physical activity in recent times do not grow or even fall, and according to Eurobarometer data, even 60 percent of EU citizens rarely or never do any physical activities. Each Member State, of course, is making efforts to promote physical activity in the population, but in order to seek changes in this area a greater cooperation and sharing of experiences is needed.
In accordance to the topicality of the problems last year the Council in the conclusions on HEPA approached the Commission that it would prepare a proposal for recommendation.  It is planned that this document would reach the working group of the Council of Sports in September. Lithuania, as a presidency country, will seek that this document would be adopted at the end of November during the Council of education, youth, culture and sports.

 

Council conclusions

The second document, which Lithuania will seek to adopt in this Council - This conclusions of the Council on the contribution of sport to the economic stability and growth, and socially inclusive communities maintaining during  high levels of youth unemployment. The number of calculations and the evidence increases on what proportion of European and Member States' economies creates a sport. Lithuania has already started counting the contribution of sport to the economy and we plan to present the preliminary results during the informal events. In these conclusions, Lithuania will seek to show how the sport sector contributes to the economic growth and reduce unemployment, as well as how it plays an important role in creating and maintaining a sense of community and social cohesion, which is essential for the stability during a difficult economic period. All this makes a significant contribution to the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Sports activities provide excellent opportunities for young people, particularly through volunteering, to acquire certain skills and abilities, such as teamwork, leadership, discipline, initiative, creativity, entrepreneurship, organizational skills, etc.., Which are valued in today's job market. In addition, the sport as a communal activity helps solve social problems. Even a small investment into sports infrastructure or local sport clubs can bring tremendous benefits and significantly contribute to stronger, safer communities, and thus a stronger Europe, development.    

 

Policy debate

For the political debates in the Council Lithuania have planned another important topic - principals of good governance in sport. This topic is important in improving skills of sports federations management, ethics in sport, in other words,  to preserve the fairness and integrity of the sport. Good governance in sport - it is a condition of sport organization's autonomy and self-regulation. If sports organizations are able to operate in accordance with the basic principles of good governance, such as managerial skills, financial and operational transparency and accountability, then they can act freely and independently, without government oversight.

 

Anti-Doping

Anti-doping issues - anti-doping problem has always been, and is, and will remain relevant, so it is very important that the European Union should have a strong voice, should speak unanimously about their positions and the questions raised by the World Anti-Doping Organisation (WADA) delivered a coordinated manner. Therefore, Lithuania will coordinate positions of Member States for  anti-doping organization (WADA) and the Council of Europe. Lithuania will pay a particular attention to the World Anti-Doping Code review. On this issue we will provide a coordinated EU position in the World Conference on Doping in Sport in November in Johannesburg.

 

Match-Fixing in Sport

Lithuania will deal with the question about the fight against match performance issues - this  problem as doping’s one, poses a serious threat to the integrity of sport. Therefore, it is important actively participate in the Council of the International Convention against the manipulation of sports performance training. Irish Presidency had reached the agreement of the parties on the  mandate for the Commission to represent the European Union issues in the preparation of Convention of Council of Europe . Lithuania will seek to confirm the rest part of the document on the mandate and will hold consultations and exchange of information between the EU institutions and Member States.

 

Events

There are 5 major events planned:

  1. Sports Forum, organized by the EU Commission on 30 September in Vilnius;
  2. The Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Sport on 1 October in Vilnius;
  3. The Sports Council meeting on 26 November in Brussels;
  4. Conference "Gender equality in sport", organized by the EU Commission on 3-4 December in Vilnius; (Press release)
  5. Meeting of the Directors General Responsible for Sports on 2-3 December in Kaunas;

Last updated: 28-08-2017
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