In its Communication "Developing the European Dimension in Sport" adopted on 18 January 2011 (COM(2011) 12 final), the Commission announced its intention to launch a study on the feasibility of establishing a sport monitoring function in the EU to analyse trends, collect data, interpret statistics, facilitate research, launch surveys and studies, and promote exchange of information.

This study was launched in 2011 and carried out by a consortium composed of W.J.H. Mulier Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, K.U. Leuven and TNO. The study had as its primary objective to increase understanding and knowledge in relation to data / information needs and regarding existing data gathering processes and networks (at national, transnational and EU level) in three broad fields: (1) sport and health (e.g. health-enhancing physical activity), (2) societal aspects of sport (e.g. participation in sport) and (3) sport's economic dimension (e.g. employment in sport).

Furthermore it makes recommendations for the future, both short/mid-term (2014-2020) and long-term (beyond 2020).