“In sports, the EU will adopt supportive, stimulating measures in the fields where an EU added value can be created beyond the national programmes of individual countries”, stressed Attila Czene, Minister of State for Sports of the Ministry for National Resources. Before the informal meeting of sports ministers on February 22-23, the presidency met the relevant NGOs at Budapest’s Millenary Park.
The invitees included not only the Hungarian Olympic Committee and the National Sports Federation but also the National Leisure Sports Federation and several sports organisations for the disabled. The meeting also gathered officials of the federations of the five priority Hungarian branches of team sport and the most successful five Hungarian sports.
Mr Czene informed NGOs on the Presidency’s key themes and the EU’s sports measures. He reported that during its term, Hungary will consider sports as a priority and will do its utmost to promote the EU sports framework programme which will come into force in 2020.
Mr Czene spoke about the framework of EU sport policy is primarily determined by the Lisbon Treaty and the Commission’s communication disclosed on 18 January 2011. The provisions of the Lisbon Treaty allow the EU to support, coordinate and complement member state initiatives. The EU fights for the purity and transparency of sports events and promotes the cooperation between sports organisations. The Committee’s communication dated 18 January also dealt with health protection, and the role and place of equal opportunities in sports.
The Minister of State did not remain silent on “the many duties to improve the budgetary position of sports in the EU”, but pointed out that tenders are a significant source of funding. “There are successful Hungarian partner organisations in EU tenders. I congratulate them and hope that this is only the beginning”, said the Minister of State.
Regular Talks with NGOs
The Hungarian Presidency aims to actively involve NGOs in the development of EU policies. Therefore, this term will be marked by frequent meetings between political leaders and NGOs. Two weeks prior to each informal Council meeting in Hungary, the responsible Ministry will consult NGOs that are active in the specific field.
As part of the series of talks with ministers and state secretaries, NGO representatives will have an opportunity to learn about the Presidency’s programme in detail. The Hungarian Presidency hopes this cooperation will result in a meaningful dialogue with organisations representing society’s needs on a voluntary basis, and will consequently bring the EU closer to citizens.