From regulation to governance and representation: agenda-setting and the EU’s involvement in sport

2010-05-20T16:06:25Z (GMT) by Borja Garcia-Garcia
This paper presents the origins and development of the EU’s involvement in sport through the examination of the landmark decisions that have shaped its approach over time. The initiation and development of that policy can be considered an example of ‘ task expansion’, in which the EU has extended the scope of its activities as a consequence of actors instrumentalising institutional venues to their own benefit. It draws on concepts from agendasetting to argue that the initial insertion of sport in the EU’s systemic agenda can be explained by the commercialisation of sport in the 1980s and 1990s. However, actor centered agendasetting models may be more suitable to explore the consideration of sport in the institutional agenda after the 1995 Bosman case. Two routes of agenda-setting are identified: the high politics route and the low politics route. At first, sports policy was just regulatory in nature, being introduced through the low politics route. The response to the Bosman case from actors both outside and within the system (mainly sports federations and European Council) moved the issue to the high politics route, focusing more on the socio-cultural and educational particularities of sport.