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For community cohesion and social inclusion

The SHARE initiative - explained

The main goal of the SHARE initiative is to raise awareness on the role of sport and physical activity in the context of regional and local development. SHARE aims to raise sport's profile in European, national, regional and local policy agendas. 

SHARE brings together

  • public authorities
  • sport organisations
  • universities
  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • business support organisations

across Europe who are engaged in highlighting sport's importance for regional development.

Launched by the European Commission in 2018, SHARE ensures sport is taken into account as part of policy and investment decision-making at European, national and regional levels.

The role of sport

Sport’s important role in fields like urban regeneration, tourism, social cohesion, sport innovation and active, healthy communities has become extremely relevant in the context of negotiations for the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy. 

This policy initiative focuses on five main objectives for regional development, which closely mirror the SHARE initiative’s common goals of 

  • a Smarter Europe 
  • a Greener, low-carbon Europe
  • a more Connected Europe 
  • a more Social Europe
  • a Europe closer to its citizens

SHARE's main activities & outcomes

The SHARE initiative has a wide scope, with activities taking place across the sport movement.

SHARE focuses on highlighting success in sport, particularly by highlighting a growing database of best practices.

SHARE also is active in building the case for sport via

  • capacity-building activities
  • events
  • research & policy papers

Supporting legislation

Recent support for the initiative's aims include the European Council conclusions, which recognises the wide range of socio-economic benefits of sport investment, and invites the EU institutions to strengthen sport's role in regional development.

Legislation has widely supported leveraging sport as a tool for local and regional development. Examples of the policy impetus for SHARE include

Sport investment

As evidenced by a Commission study, sport and physical activity contribute to regional development through their impact on key policy areas such as 

  • innovation and research
  • social cohesion and inclusion
  • territorial regeneration & attractiveness 
  • environmental protection 

Despite ample supporting evidence, sport investment has never been mentioned as a thematic objective or sector in EU Cohesion Policy regulations.

This has been flagged by public authorities and sport movement representatives as one of the main issues preventing use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) to directly support sport and physical activity. ESIF is one of the main instruments of EU Cohesion policy.

Increased collaboration

The SHARE initiative aims to increase collaboration, facilitate discussions and create a forum to grow and implement best practices – particularly between public authorities and the sport movement. 

By building stakeholder capacity and strengthening partnerships in the field of sport, new funding can be unlocked for sport-related activities.

Tagged in:  SHARE Sport & Society