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About sport in the EU

  • 2 min read

Sport represents an integral part of the lives of millions of Europeans. Support for sport builds community cohesion, grows social inclusion and leads to an enhanced sense of European identity. Sport is also a key facet of Member States’ and the larger European economies; the sector employs millions of European citizens, and adds billions in revenue.

Sport is therefore a vital part of what it means to be European. Policymakers, education professionals, regional and national experts are directly and regularly involved in ensuring sport continues tackle challenges in this field.


The Directorate-General of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) sponsors many high-level and grassroots initiatives whose aim is to promote interaction between regional and local organisations – and therefore assist European citizens to become more involved.

  • The European Week of Sport is one of the premiere initiatives in this field – and allows sport organisations, enterprises and experts from across the EU to develop their strategies for increasing participation in sport-related activities, and for participants to celebrate sport in their communities. The Week culminates in the presentation of the #BeActive awards.
  • The EU Sport Forum acknowledges the need for broad, policy-based approaches to ensuring sporting events continue to respond to developing economic and cultural challenges – and seeks to build a future in sport through high-level dialogue between sport leaders, entrepreneurs and other sport professionals.
  • The #BeInclusive EU Sport Awards recognise organisations using the power of sport to increase social inclusion for disadvantaged groups.
  • The HealthyLifestyle4All initiative aims to promote healthy lifestyles across all generations and social groups, by linking sport and active lifestyles with health, food and other policies.

How the EU is involved in Sport

The European Commission (EC) develops and shares innovative ideas EU-wide, assisting in the implementation of programmes at a regional and local level. The Erasmus+ Sport programme, for instance, helps develop the European dimension of sport, boosting cooperation between sports organisations, public authorities and other parties.

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