The subject of sport has only become a Community competence in the last decade. Its policies are aimed at promoting cooperation and managing initiatives in support of physical activity and sport, and for the first time in 2014 a specific budget line has been approved under the Erasmus+ programme.
The main objectives of Erasmus plus are social: the programmes funded are related to the fight against illegal behaviour, social inclusion, health, education in general.
Therefore, these programmes do not provide for structural interventions that could directly affect the sports facilities.
A cooperation policy such as that implemented to support research and production of sports goods would be necessary, for example through the European non-profit EPSI platform (which includes, for Italy, associations such as Assosport, Uisp, and some universities) and the parallel ClusSport, a “Platform for intelligent specialization on the modernization of industry”, both based in Brussels.
For the time being, the possibility of obtaining financial support from Europe passes through funding programmes in more general themes, in which the sports facility can enter as a tool. This is the case of the European Regional Development Fund, which has already been exploited to a great extent by some Italian regions, and whose aim is to overcome the disparities that exist between the different levels of development of European regions in favour of disadvantaged regions.
If today’s difficulty in having public funds available for the renewal and expansion of sports facilities still directs us towards the search for new ways of investment and collaboration between the public and private, getting in tune with European programs necessarily means having a vision of project oriented to the quality of life at an environmental, social and cultural level.