The European Union has recently begun to make sport a part of its external relations policies, with the Commission supporting sport-related projects in developing countries through a number of different programmes. This is helping to further enhance the image of European sport as well as develop its social and educational role.
The European sport sector is generally held in very high regard outside Europe, and sport in general can be utilised as a cross-cutting tool to promote education, health, inclusion, intercultural dialogue, development and peace.
The Lisbon Treaty (2009) called on the EU to promote sporting issues.
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union calls on the EU to foster cooperation with developing countries and competent international organisations in this area.
Sport is being gradually integrated in bilateral agreements with third countries, starting with non-EU European countries.
The role of sports as a part of the EU's external relations is likely to grow in the future.
Cooperation between EU member states will continue to be pursued through the work of Expert Groups.