The European Parliament approved by an overwhelming majority a report on the integrated approach to Sport Policy, on which MEP Marlene Mizzi is the S&D group main spokesperson for the European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee.

In her initial comments after the vote, Marlene Mizzi said that “sport is not just an activity that improves our physical fitness and mental well-being. Sport is so much more. It is the fastest-growing sector contributing immensely to the EU economy. It is a growing social phenomenon that makes an important social, educational and cultural contribution to our society by promoting shared values such as tolerance, solidarity, social inclusion, respect and understanding between nations and cultures.”

Despite the positive values of sport to the society and the economy, the reappearance of recent scandals taking place in a certain sports affected worryingly the public opinion and infringing seriously upon the sport reputation spreading much beyond the sporting world. They raised serious concerns about the need to genuinely reform the European Sport Policy, said Marlene Mizzi. “The sport sector is confronted with a number of challenges such as corruption, bribery, match-fixing, doping, exploitation of athletes, violence and discrimination. As the S&D shadow rapporteur on this Report, I have tried to address all those challenges by proposing concrete solutions and recommendations.”

Marlene Mizzi: “It is indeed very satisfying to see the positive result that we got on this Report. And even more, it is satisfying to see the widespread consensus across all the political parties in support of my recommendations. My main objectives were  to preserve the sport as we know it by improving good governance of sport organisations and eliminating violations of integrity, which often refer to the values that sport conveys and embodies, such as fair play, solidarity or team spirit.”

“ In my recommendations, I have focused on promoting sport policies that will increase participation in regular physical activities, address discrimination, racism and xenophobia, fight doping, corruption and other illegal activities,  foster  social inclusion, integration and gender equality, ensure inclusive access in particular for people with disability and improve athletes’ access to quality academic and professional education.” said MEP Mizzi.  “Failure to act in accordance with those aspirations leaves sport struggling with issues of corruption, doping, and abuse.

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