Article 165 of the Lisbon Treaty provides the European Union with a soft competence on sport.What does "a soft competence" mean when it's at home? Your guess is probably is as good as mine- here anyway is the EU’s definition:
This means that the Commission will develop a specific EU sports programme, supported by a budget. The competence also allows for better promotion of sport in other EU policy areas and programmes, such as health and education.To show how ignorant I (and I suspect many others) are of what really lurks in the dark corners of the Lisbon Treaty, I had no idea sporting issues were covered:
According to Michal Krejza , head of the Commission's sports unit, the new competence will help the EU add value by supporting platforms of exchange and debate, providing legal clarity and co-financing various initiatives...blah, blah, meaningless humbug, blah:
The Lisbon Treaty requires the Commission to contribute to the promotion of European sporting issues "while taking account of the specific nature of sport, its structures based on voluntary activity and its social and educational function".This is where it really goes off the rails:
EU sport programmeI think we'll stop it right there:
In parallel to a wide consultation of member states and stakeholders regarding the implementation of Lisbon Treaty's sport provisions during the first half of 2010, the Commission is starting to draft the first EU sports programme.
According to Krejza, an EU sports programme could be designed to:
•Contribute to the promotion of European values (physical and moral integrity of sportspersons, fairness of competitions): projects could address issues such as doping, racism and protection of minors;...
"physical and moral integrity of sportspersons"?
"Unique European values"?
Surely that's a racist implication in itself, never mind a load of sanctimonious old cobblers?
If I were them, I'd take Thierry's advice on this one, just shut up and stop