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21 September 2022
Communication to the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance, the General Economy and
Budgetary Control
Sport policy, which has all the characteristics of a public service mission based on the no-
tion of general interest, falls under the general jurisdiction of the Central Government.
However, this jurisdiction is shared and there is a plurality of stakeholders in the govern-
ance of sport, as provided for in the Acts of
1975 and 1984. In a report published in 2013,
the Court highlighted the need for a coordinated Central Government policy framework to
be established. The April 2019 creation of the National Sports Agency is a new attempt to
reform the governance of sport between the Central Government, the sport movement,
local authorities (the main contributors, representing 63% of public spending on sport)
and, now, the business world as well. While it is possible to take stock of the new policies
implemented since the creation of the Agency, it is too early to assess their results. The
report published today examines the political, legal and financial choices that led to the
creation of the Agency, as well as the conditions for its establishment, and makes a series
of recommendations to enable this ambitious reform to achieve its goals.
New governance of sport: a demanding challenge and necessary clarifications
The creation of the Agency in the form of a public interest grouping (GIP) aimed in particular at
stablishing “shared governance with distributed responsibilities” for sports policy, strengthening the
role of local authorities, and redefining the role and organisation of the Central Government. In reality,
however, this legal status has no financial or
operational content, since the grouping’s action is based
almost exclusively on Central Government resources allocated to the Agency. At this stage, the creation
of the Agency has not led to any pooling of resources or coordination of public policies in favour of
sport. The refocusing of the sports directorate on sovereign missions and on strategic steering,
coordination and observation functions presents many difficulties. Therefore, the necessary exercise of
the Central Government’s strategic supervision
over the Agency calls for a more substantial
reorganisation of this Directorate. Finally, the reform is based on the renovation of the Central
Government’s supervision over sports federations and on a transformation of the federal model in
terms of transparency, ethics and democratic functioning.
A substantial but temporary increase in appropriations, the Agency’s funding to be re
Since its creation, the National Sports Agency has benefited from a substantial increase in the
resources allocated
to it, reaching €461 million in 2022, mainly through non
-permanent public
resources, resulting from measures taken in the framework of the recovery plan and the health crisis.
Apart from such non-
permanent resources, the Agency’s “structural” budget in 2022 will be €307
million. It is therefore desirable to clarify the medium-
term multiyear trajectory of the Agency’s
budget, as provided for by law. In view of the Paris 2024 Games, the Central Government’s budgetary
effort for sport has also increased signi
ficantly to €1.1 billion. Excluding Programme
350-Olympic and
Paralympic Games
and non-permanent measures, the increase in Programme 219-
is less, and is
mainly due to the creation of the “Sport Pass”, which amounts to approximately €740 million.
However, the real effort made by the Central Government cannot be fully understood, as other
measures also are involved in this field. An initial inventory by the Court leads to an estimated
minimum budget of nearly €160 million for subsidies, mainly for invest
ment, which are not
distinguished in nature from those delivered by the National Sports Agency. A complete inventory
should be undertaken of all the measures in the Central Government’s budget planning that finances
sports policies and their coordination should be organised.
High level policy: clear choices, a policy to be strengthened
The National Sports Agency has adopted an “Ambition bleu” strategy and action plan based on clear,
consistent choices. The choice of a more relevant allocation of resources and a new performance
culture largely responds to the recommendations made by the Court in its 2013 report, “Sport for All
and High Performance Sport: Reorienting Central Government Action”. However, the reform of the
high level policy, defined by the Central Government, has not been completed. The sovereign and
operational missions of the Sports Directorate, as well as its relations with the other Central
Government operators in charge of implementing the national strategy promoted by the Agency, must
be clarified.
Challenges to be met and clarifications to be made in terms of the development of
practices and territorial governance
An essential part of the governance reform, the establishment of regional sport conferences, territorial
sport projects, multiyear orientation and funding contracts and conferences of funders, is intended to
convey the ambition of shared governance of sport policy in France at the territorial level. Neverthe-
less, the operating resources of the regional sports conferences, which today rely mainly on Central
Government services, need to be clarified, and in particular their coverage by the local authorities -
first and foremost the regions. The nature and legal scope of the multiyear goals and funding con-
tracts, which are supposed to be part of territorial sports projects but which have not been drawn up
in any region, must be clarified. This territorial governance must lead to coordination and complemen-
tarity of the policies conducted by the various stakeholders, particularly by local authorities.
Read the report
Emmanuel Kessler
Director of Communications
+33 (0)1 42 98 55 62
+33 (0)6 62 48 07 81
Julie Poissier
Head of Press Relations
+33 (0)1 42 98 97 43
+33 (0)6 87 36 52 21
Court of Accounts
Court of Accounts