EL actively participates and contributes to the works of the Expert Groups Economic Dimension of Sport and Match-Fixing
Each Expert Group within the period October 2014 – July 2014 held 5 meetings and following active discussions among the Members and the Observers, and issued deliverables which were sent to the Council. In the Expert Group Match-Fixing, EL was represented by Thierry Pujol (Sport Integrity Director of FDJ and GLMS Vice-President) and Vagelis Alexadnrakis (EL Sport Executive Secretary). EL was very active in all discussions. In the 3rd meeting, Thierry Pujol had the opportunity to present to the Group the (newly created at the time) Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), highlighting the history, methodology, and the added value of GLMS in monitoring betting patterns. EL also highlighted the importance of the Lotteries in the setting up of national platforms against match-fixing at a national level, as well as in the creation of education and prevention trainings. This was reflected also in the final deliverable of the Group, which provides an overview of past and on-going match-fixing initiatives. The deliverable also refers to the role of Lotteries in education and prevention programmes, to the GLMS and also addresses the issue of illegal betting, urging countries to “establish regimes which offer value for bettors in a legal, well-regulated and transparent environment, supplemented with concrete measures against poorly supervised or illegal betting.”
In the Expert Group Economic Dimension of Sport, the EL, represented by Chairman of EL Sport Working Group, Walter de Beauvesier Watson and EL Sport Executive Secretary, Vagelis Alexandrakis, not only had the chance to recall the significant contribution of Lotteries to grassroots sport, but also underlined that Lotteries contribute to the economy and employment (direct reference to the SportsEconAustria study, 2015). The 3rd deliverable of the Group, under the title “Practical guidance on how to encourage transparent and long-term investment in sport, including EU funding” includes the following recommendation to Member-States: “Promote and safeguard the role of national Lotteries in terms of the sustainable financing of grassroots sport, the creation of sport facilities and the increase of participation in sport (Member States): As recognised by the Council Conclusions of 10 December 2010, the contribution of state Lotteries play an important role for society. Indeed, Lotteries, driven by their core values, have been for decades a sustainable pillar of financing of grassroots sport. Their contribution to sport exceeds the amount of 2 billion € per year and according to a study, this contribution has a further impact on the economy and employment, with more than 40 000 jobs secured every year thanks to the contribution of Lotteries to sport. Many national Lotteries have been also contributing to the financing of sport facilities, including the creation of accessible facilities for people of all abilities, as well as to the increase of sport participation, through various initiatives, including the active promotion of the European Week of Sport by many Lotteries in many countries.
It is very positive that following the Commission’s High Level group Grassroots Sport, the EU Expert Group Economic Dimension of Sport also recognised the significance of Lotteries and urges Member-States to safeguard the role of Lotteries in terms of the financing of grassroots sport.”
Post-Script to EU Work Plan for Sport 2014-2017
MEP and stakeholders call for recognition of the role of funding from lotteries. The European Parliament’s rapporteur the report on the Integrated approach to Sport Policy today convened stakeholders and policymakers at a public hearing on “The way forward for grassroots sport in Europe”. The event was organised by the European Non-Governmental Sport Organisation (ENGSO) and supported by the European Lotteries Association (EL).
In their opening addresses, ENGSO President, Carlos Cardoso, underlined the importance of the Recommendations of the High Level Group Grassroots Sport, also making a strong reference to the role of Lotteries in terms of sports funding and Jens Nymand Christensen, Deputy Director General of DG EAC of the European Commission highlighted the significant role of grassroots sport also in terms of social integration of refugees.
Following up with the publication of the Recommendations published last June by the High Level group “Grassroots Sport”, from the lottery sector, the Chairman of EL Sport Committee, Torbjørn Almlid provided numerous concrete examples of how Lotteries are using their capillary network to support all EU initiatives related to sport such as the upcoming European Week of Sport in all Member States; of how they have been sustainably supporting the creation of accessible sport facilities around Europe and promote various other projects aiming to use sport as a tool for youth and gender empowerment, integration and skills development.
Additionally, Torbjørn Almlid announced the new EL Sport Award, promising that “it will be open to any social sport project, fully in line with the EL core values” and urged for the submission of projects.
Addressing the High Level Group Recommendations to the EU, EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier expressed his appreciation for the overall work and the reference to the Lotteries and also welcomed MEP Takkula’s work on his new report on sport policy, noting: “It represents a renewed commitment to keep sport high on the agenda of the European Parliament”. He finally recalled that “illegal betting, not only represents a risk to public order but also jeopardises the sustainable financing of grassroots sport”.
MEP Takkula concluded the event with reiterating the positive societal impacts of grassroots sport, noting that many of the points discussed shall form part of his upcoming report and thanked ENGSO and EL for the organisation of the event.
Projects can be submitted to be considered for the EL Sport Award as of December 31. The winner will be made public in June 2017 at the European Lotteries’ bi-annual Congress in Krakow, Poland.
If you want to know more
• High Level Group on Grassroots Sport (Full Report, EN)
• European Week of Sport, and its promotion by EL and its Members
• EL Sport Award
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