Partnership agreements have been widely established over the past decades for a variety of projects in response to the increasing societal demand in infrastructure. Particularly, the alliance of governments and private businesses, known as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), has proven to increase the effectiveness of facility and service delivery. Consequently, measuring PPPs effectiveness have become crucial to satisfy citizens’ needs and various indicators have been made available for national governments. However, there has been little research about PPPs effectiveness in the context of sport infrastructure projects. At the wake of the Paris 2024 Olympics, the delivery of sport infrastructure is imperative and 10,500 athletes will be provided with training facilities such as pitches and pools. Additionally, a trend of opposition between the public and private sectors have elicited obstacles to the emergence of PPPs and solutions should be brought to combat difficulties that are encountered by involved stakeholders. The multiplicity of funding programs initiated by the EU Commission in various sectors suggests that the EU involvement into PPPs might constitute a positive impact on sport infrastructure projects. Accordingly, the research aims to answer the question: to what extent can the EU, as a financial partner, enhance the effectiveness of PPPs in the context of sports infrastructure projects? Through a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews, the quality of relationship between involved stakeholders is assessed and the contribution of the EU investigated. The research expects to verify that positive power dynamics in the relationship between the EU and involved stakeholders increase PPPs effectiveness and hence increase the likeliness of sport infrastructure projects to be successful. Results show that the lack of communication and imbalances in power dynamics constitute a relatively negative impact on the quality of partners’ relationship for a given project. More importantly, results show that, though bringing extra funding to PPP projects and fostering the dissemination of their values, the EU remains a marginalized entity vis-à-vis domestic public or private partners.

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Pr. Dr. Darren McCauley, Dr. Pieter P. Tuytens
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Coline Catry. (2022, June 30). The role of the European Union in PublicPrivate Partnerships: Towards successful sport infrastructure projects?. Public Administration. Retrieved from