Under the aegis of Lisbon Treaty, individual member states of EU (European Union) are “encouraged to implement evidence-based policies in order to improve their provision of sporting facilities and opportunities”. In this framework, a survey (Eurobarometer 72.3) was commissioned by the European Commission, which helps us to understand the behaviour of European societies in the field of participation in sport and in physical activities. In the paper, we measure the levels of involvement of EU citizens in active life styles. We do not analyse issued results, but use the individual record file, reprocessing data in different ways. We try to reconstruct the COMPASS (Co-Ordinated Monitoring of Participation in Sports) general model with the available information. The patterns of participation are studied in relation to the socio-demographic variables. The main result is the individualisation of a “six groups” (six typologies) solution for a cluster analysis of the participants to the survey. The clusters may be so labelled: occasional sport engagement; active participation; intensive open air activities; fitness world; traditional sport world; non active people. We find strong differences in the levels of participation among EU countries, whose determinants are both motivational and socio-demographic, and are linked to the national sport policies.

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