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For community cohesion and social inclusion

Dialogue with Member States and sport organisations

The Commission regularly works both within the EU and across the world to build a fairer, more inclusive and more economically vibrant society through sport

Sport brings people together

Whether on the pitch, through work, enterprise or education, sport brings people together. From a high-level perspective, sport also acts as a way for Member States, EU institutions and organisations to coordinate sporting activities, policies and initiatives.

Sport can be a prevalent aspect of building a fairer, more inclusive and more economically vibrant society. To this end, the European Commission (EC) continues to work closely with Member States in the field of sport, and has also highlighted the need to strengthen ties with sport organisations and enterprises.

The EU Work Plan and Expert Groups

Dialogue with Member States takes place primarily via actions set out in the EU Work Plan for Sport, which sets out key topics Member States and the EC will prioritise for actions, partnerships and initiatives. The new (2021-2024) Work Plan focuses on integrity and values in sport, the socio-economic and environmental dimensions of sport and promotion of participation in sport and health-enhancing physical activity.

Following the adoption of the fourth EU Work Plan for Sport, the EC set up two Expert Groups to look at particular areas related to sport policy. Both groups include experts from the EU Member States. European and international sporting bodies can be invited as observers. The two Commission’s Expert Groups are set up on the topics

  • green sport
  • strengthening the recovery and the crisis resilience of the sport sector during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic

You will find the meeting outcomes to establish a European Union Work Plan for Sport (1 January 2021-30 June 2024) in various formats on the EUR-Lex site.

High-level Group on Gender Equality in sport

The new EU Gender Equality Strategy 2021-2025 promotes a Union where women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversity, are free to pursue their chosen path in life, have equal opportunities to thrive, and can equally participate in and lead our European society. Sport should be no exception.

In addition, the EC has established a High-level Group on Gender Equality in sport. Composed of 15 experienced and distinguished individuals in the field of gender equality in sport, the group aims to make proposals to the European Commission, the Member States and the sport movement and work towards more gender equality in sport. It will ensure the follow-up of the Gender Equality - Proposal for strategic actions 2014-2020 [pdf].

On 16 February 2021, the first meeting of the newly established High Level Group on Gender Equality in sport took place, with the participation of Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner responsible for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

Following powerful testimonies from the speakers, experts engaged in lively discussions on the scope of the High Level Group, as well as working methods. Among other things, they agreed on focusing the work around the following key topics

  • girls and women’s participation in sport
  • mediatisation of women’s sport
  • female coaches and officials (including judges, referees)
  • women’s representation in decision-making processes and leadership positions
  • economic-related topics (equal pay, sponsorship)
  • gender-based violence

Learn more about the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2021-2025