Malta, the country taking over the 6 month Presidency of the EU Council on 1 January 2017, published its programme on 22 November 2016.
The programme is based on six main topics: Migration, Single Market, Security, Social Inclusion, Europe’s Neighbourhood and Maritime.
Without a specific mention of the sports sector, the Maltese Presidency nevertheless focuses on the trio program of the Dutch, Slovak and Maltese presidencies 2016-2017. This program includes the commitment to capitalize on education in and through sport with specific attention to major sport events, sport diplomacy and voluntary activities. Malta is wanting to focus on the last points after Slovakia and the Netherlands have worked on the other two.
Concerning the Digital Single Market agenda, the Maltese presidency is set to focus on allowing “EU consumers to continue enjoying their ‘home’ subscription to Audio Visual online content when visiting another member state” (portability). This has a strong connection to the accessibility of online broadcasts of sport events, which are at the moment often inaccessible because of geo-blocking.
As sport can play an important role in the inclusion of different social groups, the sport sector is indirectly mentioned by underlining the importance of social inclusion within the European Union. The priorities also include combating gender-based violence and to promote the rights of LGBTIQ-people. The cooperation with social partners, civil society and citizens is seen as a crucial part of these efforts, which may also involve all kinds of sport clubs and/ or federations as a significant part of civil society.
Priorities of the Maltese Council Presidency