build on former related CoR opinions;
continue the work started during the CoR Conference 'Sport for All' (Palanga/Lithuania, July 2012) on the situation of people with disabilities;
underline the role of local and regional authorities in the field of sport and moreover their contribution in facilitating the access for and ensuring integration of people with disabilities;
assume a position of 'chef de file' in future debates on the subject at EU level.
The document is a response to the letter sent by the Chair following the Hearing on Sport organised by EDUC on 10 April 2014. The hearing offered the opportunity to discuss the future European Week of Sport (EWoS), to identify existing best practices and to explore how local and regional authorities would be able to support and participate in the Commission initiative starting in 2015. A summary outcome of the Hearing, together with practical measures and activities proposed during the debate for the establishment of the EWoS were conveyed to COM (see initial letter attached).
In her response letter, Commissioner Vassiliou shared most of the ideas put forward (e.g. the need to reach and involve the regional and local level, the use of a "vibrant motto" in the communication campaign, a dedicated day for people with disabilities, etc.). She also acknowledged the value of CoR inputs, explicitly mentioning the CoR Opinion on "Developing the European dimension of sport" (CdR 66/2011 fin).
In May 2014 the EYCS Council adopted a resolution on the Second EU Work Plan for Sport (2014-2017), which complemented and reinforced the impact of activities launched under the Erasmus+ programme in this field.
A great achievement is that during the Hearing on Sport organised by EDUC on 10 April 2014 most EDUC members called for a more active policy in the field of sport and physical activity and in the Council resolution concretely under the key topic (paragraph 11) on Sport and society specifically on Health-enhancing physical activity the Expert Group is asked to prepare recommendations in order to encourage physical education in schools, including motor skills in early childhood, and to create valuable interactions with the sport sector, local authorities and the private sector (by the 1st half of 2015).
On 16 June 2014 a letter addressed by Commissioner Vassiliou to the Chair of EDUC on the topic of the future European Week of Sport (EWoS) shares most of the ideas put forward on the Hearing on Sport organised by EDUC on 10 April 2014, e.g. the need to reach and involve the regional and local level, the usage of a "vibrant motto" in the communication campaign, a dedicated day for people with disabilities, etc.
The EC 57 report of 09 April 2014 welcomes and agrees with the positions taken by the CoR opinion.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
recognises the value and importance of physical activity and sport for people with a disability and the fact that it can make an effective contribution to achieving the EU's strategic goals, including the Europe 2020 objectives;
calls for coordinated awareness-raising campaigns on existing sporting opportunities;
stresses that all pupils should have access to physical and sports education and that no disability should be a barrier to inclusion in school sport programmes;
acknowledges that sport for people with a disability is heavily dependent on volunteering and underlines the need to improve activities through a process of implementing human resource management and quality development tools;
suggests that the Commission should support specific actions for projects that support the promotion of sport for people with a disability at the local and regional levels;
stresses the need to strengthen the involvement of local and regional authorities on the basis of an agenda drawn up jointly by the EC, the Council and national authorities responsible for sports, people with a disability and disability sports.