The Pro League is aware of its social role and over the years has supported many projects and campaigns on issues such as diversity, tolerance and health. In 2020, it developed a long-term Football & Community policy. Together with its clubs and relevant stakeholders, it identifies the various social themes on which it will focus in the coming years. The various levers for creating social or societal impact are projects, partnerships and campaigns aimed at raising awareness or changing behaviour.
A strong and credible social operation at the clubs is the main objective of the Pro League's social policy. The club level is also the level where the impact on players and supporters is the greatest. That's why the Pro League supports the Football & Community policy of its clubs by providing advice and assistance. This includes coaching programmes, facilitating knowledge exchange and organising refresher courses.
The Pro League chairs the Football & Community committee in which all clubs are represented and where expertise is grouped and shared.
Partnership with VUB
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Pro League have had a structural partnership since 2014 to support Belgian professional clubs in the development of their social policy. The Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen voor Professionele Voetbalclubs (Corporate Social Responsibility for Professional Football Clubs) manual was released and courses are given to strengthen the position of Football & Community Managers within their club.
The courses and guidance by experts of the VUB strengthen the professionalisation of the clubs' social policy. A strong policy plan, with a focus on structural activities and sustainable partnerships, helps the Football & Community Manager to carry out his objectives internally and externally. In this way, the Pro League offers its clubs the opportunity to develop a sustainable social policy.
The Pro League is an active member of the European Football for Development Network (EFDN). This is a network for professional football clubs, leagues and federations that uses football as a tool for social development.
The EFDN aims to create a strong network between football clubs, leagues and federations in which the exchange of knowledge and experience is paramount. This international cooperation offers opportunities to provide joint solutions to problems in the areas of education, social inclusion, health and (youth) employment. Based on joint European projects, exchange programmes for staff, volunteers and participants, the quality of the local projects and activities is strengthened.
Through EFDN, the "Corporate Social Responsibility for Professional Football Clubs" manual was translated into English and distributed within Europe. It is now used by various European leagues for the development of their community operation.
In addition, the Pro League is in close contact with European leagues such as the Ligue de Football Professionnel (France) or the Eredivisie (Netherlands) on Football & Community exchanges and is also part of the Football & Community working group of European Leagues and World Leagues Forum.