Sport has a significant and growing impact on Europe’s economy and society. Recent figures show that the contribution of sport to EU GDP is significant – over two percent of EU total employment. Sport is a field in which the EU’s responsibilities are relatively new, having only been acquired with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009. In the 2014-2020 period, a specific budget line was established for the first time under the Erasmus+ programme to support projects and networks in the area of sport.
The EU works to attain greater fairness and openness in sporting competitions and greater protection of the moral and physical integrity of sportspeople whilst taking account of the specific nature of sport. In particular, the EU is concerned with three aspects: (1) the societal role of sport; (2) its economic dimension; and (3) the political and legal framework of the sports sector. While a number of consultancies have sports experience representing organisations as diverse as the Premier League and the UFC, there is one clear leader in Brussels – BCW.