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UEFA governance model reinforced by EU sports ministers

Council of the EU adopts Resolution on European Sport Model and underlines the central role of governing bodies in values-based organised sport in Europe

EU sports ministers today adopted a Resolution of the Council of the EU on a European Sport Model. The Resolution, unanimously approved by the ministers on behalf of the EU’s 27 member states, calls for strengthening values-based organised sport in Europe and protecting it from threats such as closed competitions.

The adoption of the Resolution follows recent vocal support for the European Sport Model from both the European Parliament and the European Commission. The Resolution of the Council of the EU is a milestone that will shape European sport in the decades to come. UEFA applauds EU sports ministers’ determination in reaching the agreement and welcomes the Council of the EU’s vision for the future of European sport policy.

For European football, the Council’s position provides all-important support for our values and solidarity-based model. Indeed, the EU’s policy vision offers comprehensive backing to and alignment with the UEFA governance model. For example, the 27 member states recognise the central role of federations in overseeing the organisation and functioning of their respective sport and in reconciling stakeholders for all to contribute to the healthy development of the sport.

The EU member states expressly confirm the key features of a European Sport Model, including the pyramidal structure, the open system of promotion and relegation, the grassroots approach and solidarity, as well as sport’s role in national identity and its social and educational functions. In more explicit terms, the Council’s Resolution echoes recent positions from the European Parliament and Commission and rejects closed competitions like the attempted super league by further underlining the principle of openness in sporting competitions and giving priority to sporting merit.

Importantly, the Resolution also emphasises that sports organisations must continue to strive for more transparency and improved governance – including a number of reforms advocated or already implemented by UEFA. In addition, it calls for more stakeholder inclusion in decision-making processes, specifically in respect of fans and athletes. UEFA looks forward to furthering these discussions with major football stakeholders in the framework of the Convention on the Future of European Football.

Commenting on the Resolution, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “This is a landmark statement of intent from the EU member states; there can be no doubt left that Europe and European sport will succeed in protecting and promoting our European Sport Model. We now have a long-term plan of action at the European level to defend a values-driven, socially embedded, and open vision of European sport. With this backing for our model, European football will continue to be the leading example of this.”