Chess in schools program endorsed by EU Parliament

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On March 13th, 2012 in Strasbourg the European Parliament endorsed the 'Chess in European schools' program, a cooperation between the European Chess Union (ECU) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation. This was reported by Boyko Hristov, press officer of the ECU.

The Written Declaration 50/2011 for the implementation of the chess in schools program among the schools in the European Union was signed by 392 MEPs - the needed number was 378 signatures – 50%+1 from the total number of 754 MEPs. Here is the text of the declaration:

Written declaration on the introduction of the programme ‘Chess in School’ in the educational systems of the European Union

The European Parliament,

– having regard to Articles 6 and 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in its Article 6, provides that sport is among the areas ‘where the Union shall have competences to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States’;

B. whereas chess is an accessible game for children from every social group and can help social cohesion and contribute to policy objectives such as social integration, combating discrimination, reducing crime rates and even the fight against various addictions;

C. whereas whatever the age of the child, chess can improve children’s concentration, patience and persistence and can develop the sense of creativity, intuition, memory, and analytic and decision-making skills; whereas chess also teaches determination, motivation and sportsmanship;

1. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage the introduction of the programme ‘Chess in School’ in the educational systems of the Member States;

2. Calls on the Commission, in its forthcoming communication on sport, to pay the necessary attention to the program ‘Chess in School’ and to ensure sufficient funding for it from 2012 onwards;

3. Calls on the Commission to take into consideration the results of any studies on the effects of this programme on children’s development;

4. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission and to the Parliaments of the Member States.

Last month, during the first session in the Strasbourg parliament, already 369 MPs signatures were gained. This week the needed number 378 was passed easily, and the number of gained signatures at the end of the session is expected to be even higher. This is a clear indication of the recognition of MEPs across Europe of the benefits that chess can bring to children.

Having received the required number of signatures to be passed in the European Parliament, the Written Declaration will be officially communicated from the Parliament to the Commission and to the Parliament of each EU Member State together with the list of signatories.

This is a historical success for the European chess. The date of March 13th, 2012 will go down in chess history as the date when the game of chess wass moved on a higher level of recognition by the society – not just like sport, but also like a part of the education in the modern world.

– said Mr. Silvio Danailov, President of the European Chess Union.

The development and implementation of the program will be carried out as a joint project between the European Chess Union and Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe. All activities and events connected to the project “Chess in school” were held under the high patronage of the previous President of the European Parliament, prof. Jerzy Buzek and the MEP from Bulgaria, Mr. Slavi Binev, who is the main supporter of the project and who introduced the Written Declaration 50/2011.

Silvio Danailov, Slavi Binev and Garry Kasparov toasting on the success in Strasbourg

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