The defining characteristic of European Union (EU) sports policy is the construction of a discrete area of EU sports law. EU sports law extends beyond the mere application of law to sport, to the construction of a legal approach for dealing with sports disputes which allows both the EU's regulatory and political policy objectives for sport to co-exist within the EU sports policy framework. The emergence of a coordinated EU sports policy held together by a discrete area of sports law is a new development in the EU. The sports policy subsystem is composed of two advocacy coalitions: Single Market coalition and socio-cultural coalition. The construction of the separate territories approach for dealing with legal disputes involving sport is the defining characteristic of coordinated sports policy. The future debate on the relationship between sport and the EU will be dominated by the issues of sports law and doping.
The current legal interventions in sport balance the European Union (EU)'s regulatory and political policy interests in sport. EU sports law is a product of the EU's sports policy. The juridification of sport accelerated interest in the idea of sport and the law as an area of legal study. The EU emerged as the key new regulatory actor. The commercialisation of sport in Europe was an essential pre-requisite for international juridification. EU sports law was born out of the post-Bosman political discussions on the future of sport in the EU. The Single Market advocacy coalition pursues a regulatory policy interest in sport. Sport should be treated differently to other economic sectors before the law. The development of sports law is an approach favoured by both coalitions as it allows them to protect their fundamental belief systems.