Austria believes that the importance of sport to the overall economy is often underestimated and wants to translate national experience into a form that can be used at European level.
The core theme for the Austrian Presidency of the EU will be ‘Sport and the Economy’, with particular attention to be devoted to the health industry, major sporting events, tourism, sport in the light of the demographic trend and sport as a job driver.
“The importance of sports to the overall economy is unfortunately all too often underestimated. Our objective must be to translate national experience into a form that can be used at European level,” says Austria’s State Secretary Karl Schweitzer. “We must develop scientific statistics on sports at European level and create standard economic statistics and documentation pools,” he added. A study on sport and the economy is due to be ready in time for the conference of sports directors on 29 and 30 March 2006 in Vienna.
Ratification of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, harmonisation of anti-doping rules, the services directive’s impact on funding for sport and a Commission study on young sportspersons’ careers after their sporting careers are over are also on Austria’s agenda.
The Commission study said that career transition makes young athletes scared, that there is no common strategy for dealing with young athletes’ education needs and that this was an underdeveloped area needing more research.