The Erasmus+ Programme 2021-2027

Erasmus+ 2021-2027 covers the areas of education, training, youth and sport with the overarching objective to support the educational, professional and personal development of youth, people in sport, education and training through lifelong learning in Europe and beyond.

The Erasmus+ programme is structured in key actions and sport proposals are eligible across all three Key Actions.

• Key Action 1. This is designed to promote learning opportunities for individuals of all ages through study, traineeships, training and professional experience, as well as youth-led national and transnational/educational initiatives. In 2023, the big novelty is the inclusion of the “Mobility Project in the field of Sport” under Key Action 1 which provide the staff of sport organisations, primarily in grassroots sport, with the opportunity to improve their competencies, and qualifications and to acquire new skills through learning mobility by spending a period abroad; and yet, this will be further presented in the upcoming slides.

• Key Action 2. This is designed to promote cooperation among organisations and institutions through partnerships within and across sectors boosting capacity building, networking, as well as peer learning opportunities and exchange of best practice. Notably, the majority of the calls relevant for sport are listed under Key Action 2 being: Partnerships for Cooperation (Cooperation Partnerships and Small Scale Cooperation Partnerships), Not-For-Profit European Sport Events and the Capacity-building in the field of sport.

• Key Action 3. This supports policy dialogue, cooperation and development of new policies in the realm of education and training, sport and youth, as well as creates networks to promote cross-border partnerships among organisations in the Member States (i.e European Week of Sports, EU Sport Forum).

Erasmus+ Programme: Opportunities for Sport

Key Action 1 – Mobility Project in the Field of Sport. Mobility project in the field of sport aspires to provide the staff of sport organisations, primarily in grassroots sport, with the opportunity to improve their competencies, and qualifications and to acquire new skills through learning mobility by spending a period abroad, thus contributing to the capacity building and development of sport organisations. In this context, sports staff refers to a person involved in the instruction, training and management of a sports team or individual sports people either on a paid basis or on a voluntary basis (i.e administrators, coaches, officials). Accordingly, two set of activities can be organised: job shadowing/observation (up to 14 days) and coaching/training assignments (up to 60 days).

Key Action 2 – Partnerships for Cooperation. Partnerships for Cooperation are expected to contribute to key policy documents including the Work Plan for Sport (2021-2024) or the Council recommendation of health-enhancing physical activity. Accordingly, the sport-specific priorities are:
• Encouraging healthy lifestyles for all
• Promoting integrity and values in sport
• Promoting education in and through sport
• Promoting equality and European values in and through sport

Partnerships for Cooperation in the field of sport include both cooperation partnerships and small-scale cooperation partnerships:

• Cooperation Partnerships provide an opportunity to develop, transfer and implement innovative practices in different topical areas relating to sport and physical activity between various organisations and actors in and outside sport.

• Small-scale Cooperation Partnerships are designed for less experienced organisations and newcomers to the programme as this has simpler administrative requirements. These partnerships support activities with transnational and national level whilst ensuring the European dimension. Activities may include organisations to increase their capacity to operate at transnational level and exchange good practices relating to sport and physical activity.

Key Action 2 - Not-For-Profit European Sport Events. Not-for-profit European Sport Events aim to support volunteering in sport, social inclusion through sport, fight against discrimination in sport, including gender equality and encouraging healthy lifestyles for all. And yet, sport competitions organised by international, European or national sport federations/leagues on a regular basis or professional sport competitions are not eligible for funding. Not-for-profit European sports events include two types of events Europe-wide events (single event in a country) and European local events type I and type II (multiple events in multiple EU countries) which have different requirements in terms of consortium, timeframe and financial elements.

Key Action 2 - Capacity-building in the field of sport. Capacity-building in the field of sport are multilateral partnerships - in particular targeting the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro) - to support grassroots sports activities and policies as a vehicle to promote values as well as an educational tool to promote the personal and social development of individuals and build more cohesive communities.

Hence, the Erasmus+ Programme includes several actions/calls which can further support engagement in recreational activity, physical activity, and volunteer work while undertaking wider issues within society and sports.

The GAMES project - enabler of gender equality among European NOCs

The GAMES project is a 24 month project co-funded by the European Union as a Cooperation Partnership under the Erasmus+ Sport Programme 2021. The EOC EU Office is coordinating the GAMES project whilst the consortium is composed of 8 NOCs (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, North Macedonia and Turkey) and renowned experts in the field of gender equality and good governance, including Professor Emerita Kari Fasting from Equal Rights in Sports and I TRUST Sport. Furthermore, the GAMES project is supported by the International Olympic Committee.

The GAMES project is designed to promote integrity and good governance in sports by advocating for structural and cultural changes regarding gender equality in leadership and decision-making positions among NOCs and their member federations. Hence, the GAMES project is fully aligned the Erasmus+ Programme both horizontal and sport-specific priorities; indeed, the GAMES project addresses integrity and values in sport focusing on gender equality in leadership position as an integral part of good governance meanwhile promoting diversity and inclusion through its emphasis on gender equality. Hence, the EU Commission’s priority policy documents adopted in relation to gender equality (in sport) have laid the foundation for the design and implementation of this project.

GAMES recognises that having gender equality in terms of leadership representation is crucial as inclusive and diverse leadership is vital to effectively device solution to the multi-layered matters faced by decision-makers nowadays. Accordingly, it is fully aligned with the scope and timeframe of the EU the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 by concretely supporting NOCs to swiftly implement the guidelines and recommendations related to gender-balanced representation in leadership and decision-making. In addition, GAMES is aligned with the scope and timeframe of the EU Work Plan 2021-2024’s by concretely supporting the NOCs in “increasing the share of women, especially among (…) leadership positions in sports organisations and sports clubs”. Besides, GAMES also support the EU Work Plan 2021-2024 principle/priority of good governance by identifying “governance-related obstacles” in terms of gender equality within sport organisations. Accordingly, it addresses the European Commission aims to remove structural barriers so to “actively encouraging women to take up leadership roles within sport organisation”; subsequently, “to promote female role models that could inspire younger generations” and encourage gender equality in leadership position in sport. Accordingly, GAMES is designed to concretely implement the recommendations of the High level Group on Gender Equality in Sport by concretely supporting the NOCs partners in the implementation of strategic actions in the realm of gender equality in leadership position. Moreover, GAMES is also responding to the Council Conclusions on gender equality in sport 2014, by continuing the work done in “developing and maintaining actions plans or strategies on gender equality in sport”, in boosting “gender equality in decision-making at all levels and in all fields of sport” as well as “encourage increasing gender balance on executive boards and committees (…) whilst trying to remove non-legislative obstacles preventing women from taking up such functions”.

Hence, the GAMES project appears to be a crucial enabler for European NOCs to develop capacity-building in gender equality in sport leadership; yet it acknowledged that the Erasmus+ programme is vital in supporting sport organisations (i.e NOCs) in promoting the European Union’s objectives and tackling common challenges (i.e gender equality in sport).

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Don't miss out!
On the 6th of May, @WomenSportIntl will host a Webinar on the #GAMESPROJECT Pool of Actions with opportunities for open-discussions and Q&A.

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