The European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) has unanimously adopted a parliamentary report calling on the European Union (EU) to acknowledge and better fund the video game and esports ecosystem in Europe.
The successful vote will see the entire European Parliament vote on the report during a session on November 9th-10th.
The text of the report calls on the European Commission (the EU’s executive body) and the European Council (a body comprising EU ministers and leaders) to recognise the value of video games and esports. This includes developing a long-term strategy for the sectors.
It proposes bolstering game development in the European Union via better funding and state aid, arguing the EU’s existing funding via the Creative Europe Programme is insufficient.
Specific proposals put forward by the CULT committee include the use of video games and esports in schools, and the creation of a Europe-wide observatory to provide stakeholders with recommendations for the sector.
While highlighting that video games and esports have ‘significant social and cultural potential’ to connect Europeans, the text suggests addressing challenges such as doping and match-fixing in esports, as well as the ‘health risks’ posed by intensive gaming and esports.
It additionally stresses the importance of esports and video games carrying EU values, including fair play, non-discrimination, solidarity and social inclusion. It calls for solutions to what it says is a talent shortage in the sector, and claims gaming can ‘contribute to EU soft power’.
Laurence Farreng, Member of European Parliament (MEP) for the Renew Europe Group, commented: “Although half of Europeans are gamers, the sector does not benefit from a dedicated strategy at EU level, whether it is to protect intellectual property, channel investment or promote our know-how.
“[Video games and esports] have great potential in terms of economy, soft power, education and intergenerational connection. Moreover, the European Union is the appropriate level to develop e-sports, with a charter, a mapping and dedicated infrastructures.”