Last Tuesday was an important milestone for the Maltese Presidency in the field of Sport when during the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council, all the Ministers of the 28 members states unanimously approved two important documents that were presented by the Maltese Presidency through the able work of SportMalta during the last six and more months.
SportMalta through its presidency unit managed to reach consensus amongst members states during six working party meetings, a council conclusion on Sport as a platform for social Inclusion through volunteering. The council conclusion states that volunteering plays a key role, including people within a community by strengthening the role of active citizens, increasing employability, promoting values and intercultural dialogue. Volunteering in sport, in addition to developing a variety of skills and competences, provides young people with opportunities in non-formal and formal learning.
This was followed by a resolution for the European Union work plan for sport that will give a road map for Sport in the European Union from 2017 till 2020. The work plan addresses the integrity of sport, the economic dimension of sport and sport and society as its main themes.
Both documents will help as guidelines for all spectra of sport in Europe not only as member states, but also for European Commission and the most important stakeholders in the field of sport.
This council was proceeded by an interesting structure dialogue who had the presence amongst other stakeholders of Tibor Navracsics, the EU commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. The Malta presidency team chose ‘Utilizing Sports Media to strengthen Social Inclusion’ as main theme for this dialogue. Moreover to add value to this dialogue, Bill Bush, Executive Director of the English Football Premier League, accepted the invitation and presented the way the Premier League uses part of its income to serve the community through social responsibility. AIPS Europe President Charles Camenzuli and Pierre Cassar from the University of Malta added value through their input to the discussion. This dialogue was followed during the Council of Ministers and brought many encouraging comments from Ministers for the validity of the topic, which is also featured in the next EU Work plan.
The EYCS Council brings to a close the official work related the Maltese EU Presidency in the field of Sport. However the last event for SportMalta during the Presidency will be a joint event together with Agenzija Zghazagh and EUPA being Sport, Youth and Democracy seminar, during the last week of June.