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Writing in the latest edition of the official UEFA publication uefadirect, Mr Platini relates how a lack of mutual understanding culminating in the 1995 Bosman ruling – which changed much of the football landscape – has been replaced over the years by a new atmosphere in which both sides have realised the need to move away from a position of confrontation.
"The relationship between UEFA and the European Union (EU), or European Community (EC) as it used to be known, was not established on the best of foundations," the UEFA president said. "European football's governing body was seen as arrogant and accused of seeking to bypass EC legislation because of the specific nature of sport, a notion that was not obvious to those outside the game, not least because of the mixed messages from those inside, with the clubs, leagues, national associations and players all expressing different opinions.
"UEFA, on the other hand, was irked by the ever-growing interference of the European institutions in matters that football was used to governing itself, in accordance with long-established principles," he added. "It also bemoaned the fact that sport was generally treated like just any other economic activity, despite the game's professional tier forming only the apex of a pyramid in which all of the other layers are inextricably linked."
In December 1995 the European Court of Justice issued the Bosman ruling, concerning the Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman, which, Mr Platini writes, "left the transfer fee system in ruins and prohibited all nationality-based restrictions on players from EU member states".
The UEFA president says the aftermath of the Bosman verdict saw football and the European political authorities adopt a different approach. "Subsequently, while it never relinquished its convictions, football came to realise that it had nothing to gain from confrontation, and that the way forward was through dialogue and greater mutual understanding.
"The EU adopted a similar approach and has since been persuaded not only that football and sport cannot simply be defined by their professional tiers, but that they also possess huge social value and can act as powerful tools for integration."
Now, Mr Platini explains, a changed climate reigns between football and the EU. "The fruits of this much more serene climate are already being seen. The Lisbon Treaty's recognition of the specific nature of sport certainly represents an important milestone in the relationship between the EU and the sporting authorities.
"Another very positive development came in Luxembourg, where the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in favour of training compensation for any club forced to give up one of its young players to another club after they have completed their training. Moreover, the court specified that compensation should be calculated based on the total costs of the club's training programme and not only those relating to the player concerned."
The European Commission has also invited UEFA to contribute to the European pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which opens in May. "This is a sign of its recognition of the social importance of football," Mr Platini said, "and is something of which we can be very proud."
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