The sports sector can help address the structural weaknesses of the European economy and its challenges, as well as contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy, argues the Commission in its invitation to tender for the study on the contribution of sport to economic growth and employment in the EU.
The EU executive further highlights strong synergies which the sports sector has with other economic fields, such as production, retail, infrastructure, tourism, education, media and betting, through which it directly and indirectly contributes to industrial output.
Sport could therefore be used as a tool for regional development and job creation if more is known about national particularities and Europe-wide interdependencies between different economic sectors, the Commission said.
Lack of EU-wide data
While research, surveys and studies exist to measure the economic significance of sport, the Commission notes that policymakers lack methodologically sound, comprehensive and comparable EU-wide information on the sector's economic role, which would be helpful for developing targeted policies.
The study will seek to address these shortcomings. It could be launched by end of this year and the final results should be expected by summer 2012.
In addition to assessing the sector's role regarding the Europe 2020 strategy, the study will develop a methodological framework that takes into account the economic impact of sport at national level and produce national documents for the EU-27 member states.
A separate analysis setting out similarities and differences between countries will also be provided.