One of the main priorities of the European Commission is inclusion. The Europe 2020 strategy is about delivering growth that is: inclusive, with a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction.

The Trio Presidency of The Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta taking place during the 18 months between January 2016 and June 2017, is working on fighting poverty and social exclusion. Equal treatment is a priority focusing on gender equality, social equity and social inclusion.

One of the key objectives is ensuring social fairness. Religion and belief, ethnicity, disability, age or sex orientation are among the most important factors that need to be tackled. Another very important key objective is the protection of health against non-communicable diseases part of which are related to physical inactivity. The Council Presidency is responsible for driving forward the Council’s work.

Each member state is called upon in turn to take on this role to ensure continuity in the Council’s agenda.dz3 In this regard and keeping this as a main objective, Malta will be working to include various vulnerable sectors of society through sport. Sport, being in itself an ideal way to educate people to be fair and to respect others, is an adequate tool to fight social exclusion.

It is also a perfect way to prevent non-communicable diseases emanating from obesity due to inactivity and mental health problems among different strands of the society.

SportMalta, the national provider and regulator of sport in Malta, is concerned about the issues of both social inclusion and the protection against non-communicable diseases. Sport can be the solution for both features. This reaffirms the Council conclusions that sport can contribute greatly towards social inclusion 4, since sport can through its various components, act as an important medium for these objectives to be achieved.

To this effect, and in parallel with these council conclusions, SportMalta is also promoting the area of volunteering in sport mainly carried out at grassroots level and through clubs. In order to reach its goals, SportMalta embarked on several projects the conclusion of which should serve as good practices for both Malta and EU member states.

Visit the new SportMalta Website dedicated to the 2017 EU Presidency.

www.eu17sportmalta.com