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SHARE initiative

What is SHARE?

Launched by the European Commission in 2018, the SHARE initiative’s main goal is to raise awareness on the role of sport and physical activity in the context of regional and local development. The initiative ensures this role is adequately taken into account as part of policy and investment decision-making at European, national and regional levels.

Sport’s important role in fields such as urban regeneration, tourism, social cohesion, sport innovation and active, healthy communities has become extremely relevant in the context of negotiations for the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy. This new policy will focus on five main objectives for regional development, which closely mirror the SHARE initiative’s common goals - a Smarter Europe, a Greener, low-carbon Europe, a more Connected Europe, a more Social Europe and a Europe closer to citizens.

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SHARE's main activities

The initiative is wide in scope, with activities taking place across the sport movement.

SHARE focuses on highlighting successes in sport, particularly via a growing database of best practices.

SHARE also is active in building the case for sport via:

  • Capacity-building activities
  • Events
  • Policy papers

Supporting legislation

Recent support for the initiative's aims includes the Council conclusions, which recognised the wide range of socio-economic benefits of sport investment, and invited the EU institutions to strengthen sport's role in regional development.

Legislation has widely supported the exploitation of sport as a tool for local and regional development. Examples of the policy impetus for SHARE include:

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A real need for sport investment

As evidenced by a Commission study, sport and physical activity contribute to regional development through their impact on key policy areas such as innovation and research, social cohesion and inclusion, territorial regeneration and attractiveness or environmental protection. Despite supporting evidence, sport investment has never been mentioned as a thematic objective or sector in EU Cohesion Policy regulations. This has been regularly flagged by pubic authorities and sport movement representatives as one of the main issues preventing use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) – the main instruments of EU Cohesion policy – to directly support sport and physical activity.

SHARE aims to raise sport's profile in European, national, regional and local policy agendas.

The initiative aims to increase collaboration, facilitate discussions and create a forum to grow and implement best practices – particularly between public authorities and the sport movement. By building stakeholder capacity and strengthening partnerships in the field of sport, new funding can be unlocked for sport-related activities.

SHARE brings together public authorities, sport organisations, universities, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and business support organisations across Europe who are engaged in highlighting sport's importance for regional development.

The public affairs and scientific coordinator of the SHARE initiative is KEA European Affairs