EU to investigate economics of sport

26.03.2007

By Marie V. Thesbjerg
A European database will be established to study the economic effects of sport, its role in national economies and its impact on the labour market.

That is the outcome of an informal conference of EU sports ministers on 12-13 March 2007.

The relation between sport and economics is one of the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency in the area of sport as sport accounts for as much as three per cent of GDP in some EU countries.

EU member states also have a growing interest in analyzing and learning more about the economic effects of sport, its role in the national economy, its dynamics and, above all, its impact on the labour market.

At the conference, the ministers decided to establish an EU-wide database for sport to study its economic effects, which will generate detailed information on the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for by sport and, for example, the number of workers sport employs. 

"According to estimates, sport accounts for about 1-3 per cent of GDP in the EU member states. It creates and maintains jobs and thus makes an important contribution to achieving the goals of the Lisbon Agenda," said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to Euractiv.com.  

Other sports issues that were discussed at the meeting were counter-measures for preventing violence, social integration and proposals for improving European co-operation in sport and doping.

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