February 2nd, 2012 • The European Parliament wants to see the European flag flying at all sporting competitions, according to a vote today on the EU and sport. The European flag was one of the symbols included in the European Constitution thrown out by referendum votes in France and the Netherlands and left out of the Lisbon Treaty. Now the European Parliament is calling for the flag to be hoisted at all sporting competitions and for sportsmen and sportswomen to wear the flag on their kit.
Commenting on the vote, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: ‘The European parliament makes itself look absolutely ridiculous with this sort of frivolity. The Eurozone is staggering along, the European economy is in a serious depression and yet the European Parliament wastes its time on this sort of nonsense. The member states’ citizens don’t want a superstate with flag, anthem and constitution, that much is clear, so we shouldn’t start setting up one.’
The EU proposals for European sport rules go, in the SP’s view, beyond the European Union’s remit. For example, the EU wants its own budget for investments in sport, streamlining of training for coaches and the introduction of a ‘European Day for Sport’. As Dennis de Jong says, “Sport is generally a national affair and so it should remain.”
In the past the SP has stood up often against any European sports policy. In 2010 SP Member of Parliament in The Hague Renske Leijten put pressure on then sports minister Ab Klink not to vote to agree to the establishment of a ‘European Action Programme for Sport’.