Under the treaty of Lisbon, the European Union would have a new competence to carry out actions to “support, co-ordinate or supplement” the actions of member states. Harmonisation of national laws and regulations is explicitly excluded.
This could be a valuable opportunity for sports in the United Kingdom to benefit from EU funding programmes and the recognition of the special nature of sport, without damaging the key principles of subsidiarity and autonomy. We will continue to work closely with the sports to ensure that they are best placed to benefit from new programmes if the treaty is ratified.
The Government's response (published 22 July 2008) to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's Third Special Report provides further information on sport policy in the EU context.