The Committee's own-initiative report broadly welcomes the Commission's July 2007 White Paper on Sport and calls on member states to officially recognise sport in the new Reform Treaty.
The report drafted by MEP Manolis Mavrommatis was adopted on 1 April 2008 by a large majority of MEPs. A package of compromise amendments, adopted by the committee, recognises that most challenges in sport can be addressed through self-regulation "respectful of good governance principles, provided that EU law is respected". The Commission is asked to promote and complement - but not to regulate – the actions of member states and sports organisations, "while taking into account the specific nature of sport, its structures based on voluntary activity and its social and educational function".
As for providing more legal clarity on the application of European law to sports, the MEPs ask the Commission to draft clear guidelines on the application of Community competition and internal market law to sport. The House's Committee on Legal Affairs, in its opinion on the report, underlines that any specific "sporting rules", which relate to the particular nature and context of sporting events, are inherent to the organisation and proper conduct of sporting competition and "cannot be regarded as constituting a restriction on the Community rules on free movement of workers and freedom to provide services".
Regarding other issues, MEPs voiced concerns about the possible deregulation of the market for gambling and lotteries as they consider it appropriate to use the profits derived from these activities for purposes that are in the public interest, such as financing sport.
The MEPs also adopted a number of amendments calling for more EU action on doping in sport. They call for the development of an action plan on the fight against doping before the next Olympics, which take place in the EU (London 2012), and ask for EU funding to be made available for research on the matter.
The Committee report also calls on the Commission to develop, together with sports federations, European guidelines and recommendations on physical activity before the end of 2008.
The report is scheduled to be voted upon in plenary on 7 May 2008.