What is it about?

The EU Work Plan for Sport identifies the economic aspects of sport, in particular sustainable financing of grassroots sport, as a priority for the EU. The Commission seeks to put the public and private financing of sport on a more secure footing, focussing on three main aspects:

  • Developments in other policy fields (e.g. competition law, State Aid rules, Internal Market provisions, common VAT scheme) that can impact on financing of the sport sector
  • EU financial instruments (programmes and funds) that can provide funding for the sport sector and its activities
  • The exchange of best practices between different organisations and Member States

Why is it needed?

Sporting organisations, especially at grassroots level, find themselves in a complex and changeable financial situation. While some sport organisations are economically self-sufficient, for most of them public support remains essential. This presents a number of opportunities and challenges for local sporting organisations.

What has been done so far?

In its 2007 White Paper on Sport, the Commission included a study on the financing of grassroots sport and sport for all in the Member States.

A 2011 Communication on sport addressed the redistribution of revenue derived from professional sports to lower levels of the sport chain.

The informal EU Working Group on Non-Profit Sport Organisations met six times between February 2007 and January 2011.The group addressed a number of topical issues relating to the financing of grassroots sport, including gambling services, State Aid, VAT and procurement.

An EU Expert Group on Sustainable Financing of Sport was set up by the Council in 2011, tasked with exploring ways to strengthen financial solidarity mechanisms within sport

The Preparatory Actions in the field of sport 2009-2013 contributed to the exchange of good practices in sport, particularly at grassroots level.

What are the next steps?

The Erasmus+ programme contributes to the exchange of good practices in sport, particularly at grassroots level.