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UEFA's dialogue with European football stakeholders is bearing impressive fruit. The European body seeks to involve the various parties in football's decision-making process with the well-being of football in mind.

UEFA recognises fans as important stakeholders in European football
UEFA recognises fans as important stakeholders in European football ©AFP/Getty Images

UEFA is determined be a strong leader in its role as the umbrella body for European football. However, as one of the 11 values on which UEFA bases its work and activities, the body pledges to operate in a spirit of consensus.

In addition to cooperation with its 55 national associations, UEFA involves all stakeholders – including leagues, clubs, and players, in the decision-making process within European football, to enable the UEFA Executive Committee to take the correct decisions for the overall well-being of the European game. Moreover, UEFA is pursuing closer relations with football fans – the lifeblood of the game – and has nurtured positive dialogue with the European political authorities over the years.

The relationship between UEFA and the leagues, clubs and players' unions is underpinned by memorandums of understanding with the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), The European Club Association (ECA) and FIFPro Division Europe. All three bodies are represented with the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC), which deals with issues of strategic importance to professional football in Europe. The PFSC reports directly to the UEFA Executive Committee and exercises a major influence on its decision-making.

In recent years, UEFA has developed closer and positive ties with the European Union (EU), which has become a regular interlocutor. The EU and the European political authorities are a legal and political reality which have a significant impact on UEFA and its member national associations. UEFA itself defends such issues as the specificity of sport, financial fair play and the fight against match-fixing with the European authorities. UEFA also works closely with other sports federations on a number of these issues at both European and international levels.

UEFA is committed to ensuring that the needs and viewpoints of supporters are taken into account. The European body is aware that without the continued loyalty of football fans worldwide – and especially those in Europe – the game would not enjoy its undoubted success and popularity. Consequently, UEFA meets every year with supporters' representatives to discuss and hear feedback on key issues such as stadiums and security, ticketing, the campaign against racism and violence, and fan relationships with football's various stakeholders.