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Sport as a growth engine for EU economy

Zone(s): European Union ¦ Sector(s): Economy, Sport
[19 June 2014, Europa website] Sport is an important economic sector in the EU in its own right, with a share in the national economies which is comparable to agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined. Moreover, its share is expected to rise in the future. Overall the sports sector accounts for 2% of the EU global GDP, while the total employment generated by sports activities is 7.3 million-equivalent to 3.5% of the total EU employment. Despite these impressive figures, the economic impact of the sport-related industries is often underestimated.

To underpin the role of sport-related industry as an economic driver, a High Level Meeting of stakeholders on the impact of sport and sport-related industries took place in Brussels. The meeting was aimed at taking stock of the progress made since the first meeting of the European Sport Industries on 21 January 2014. Furthermore, the meeting offered the opportunity to present an industry-led Action Plan on the economic impact of sport and sport-related industries. The meeting highlighted the role of sport as a powerful lever for innovation, industrial competitiveness and employment.

Concrete actions to foster sport and sport-related industries in Europe
Following the first meeting of the European Sport Industries on 21 January, the economic importance of sport has been elaborated with three main objectives:

1. Maximising efficiency of investment in sports infrastructure:

2. Fostering the competitiveness of sports-related industries:

3. Enabling demand for sports and recreational activities and related goods and maximizing the spill-over effects of sports on growth and employment:

Every new job in the sport supply chain generates 0.65 new jobs in related industries outside the supply chain. Sectors with the highest multipliers are found in the construction branch and in tourism-related sectors. Against this background, a set of actions are envisaged including: exploiting COSME funding possibilities, supporting enterprises operating in the “app economy”, creating specific agencies at regional level to facilitate the organization of sporting events and adopt measures to facilitate sport-related tourism activities. The EU together with Member states and other stakeholders shall also encourage tourism from third countries to Europe at the occasion of major sport events and, finally, consider whether to follow up the recommendations of the Expert Group on the sustainable financing on sports on reviews of the VAT system to take account the specific nature of sport.

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