Estonia's participation in the work of the European Union

In 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, thereby putting sports on a legal and equal basis with other areas of activity.

Article 165 of the Treaty on European Union prescribes the following: The Union shall contribute to the promotion of European sporting issues, while taking account of its specific nature, its structures based on voluntary activity and its social and educational function. The Union's action shall aim to develop the European dimension in sport by promoting the integrity and openness of sporting competitions and cooperation between bodies responsible for sport and the protection of the physical and mental integrity of athletes, especially young athletes.

In the European Union, issues in the field of sport are discussed in the Working Party on Sport of the Council of the EU. Representatives of all the Member States participate in the work of the Working Party and make preparations for the meetings of the Ministers for Sport of the Council of the European Union, which take place at least twice a year. The representatives from Estonia also participate in the expert groups of the European Commission, which are convened as needed.

Estonia has participated in studies organised by the European Union, the results of which can be used to make sports policy decisions, and compared with other European Union countries. The work of the European Union in the field of sport is governed by the EU Work Plan for Sport. In 2011, the first EU Work Plan for Sport was adopted for 2011–2014. Subsequently, a Work Plan for 2014-2017 was adopted. A third EU Work Plan for Sport for 2017-2020, which describes the topics and plans for the Council of the European Union presidencies for 2017-2020 is in currently in force.

The current Work Plan focuses on the following:

  • The promotion of sports ethics, in particular good governance, and includes the protection of minors, the specific nature of sport, the fight against corruption and match-fixing, and the fight against doping;
  • the economic dimension of sport, primarily, sports innovation as well as the single sport and digital market;
  • sport and society, in particular social inclusion, the role of coaches, sport-related education and learning through sport, sport and health, sport and the environment, and sport and the media, as well as sports diplomacy.

The Work Plan has established two expert groups, which deal with:

  • ethics issues
  • the development of skills and human resources in sport

Read more on the European Commission’s Sport website

Erasmus+ education, training, youth and sports support programme

Erasmus+ is the European Union's support programme for education, training, youth and sport. It has a budget of over €14.7 billion for the activity period of 2014-2020. The Erasmus+ support programme includes a separate sub-programme for the field of sport, for which 1.8% of the programme’s resources are allocated. The Sports sub-programme supports activities with an international dimension that help in the fight against doping and the manipulation of sporting results, as well as the prevention of violence and unequal treatment in sport. Support is also provided to initiatives related to good governance, the promotion of dual careers for athletes, and amateur sports.

The sports programme supports:

  • transnational cooperation projects that have at least five partners from five different countries participating in the programme;
  • the organisation of major non-commercial European sporting events in which at least 12 countries participating in the programme take part;
  • the development of sports statistics;
  • capacity building in the field of sport and the development of dialogues with European stakeholders (primarily meetings with the stakeholders organised by the EU Sports Forum at the initiative of the European Commission).

Erasmus+: the Estonian Foundation of Sport Education and Information helps to implement the sports-related activities in Estonia.

If you have any questions about education, training or youth, contact SA Archimedes.

Also see the European Commission’s Erasmus+ website.


Kaarel Nestor

Adviser (Sports)

Last updated: 27.01.2021