The major European team sports created their own association – European Team Sports (ETS) – in December 2009. Besides seeking to promote, develop and represent the interests of their sports, the association also exists to further increase the information exchange that has taken place informally over recent years. The sports represented are basketball (FIBA Europe), football (UEFA), handball (EHF), ice hockey (IIHF), rugby (FIRA-AER) and volleyball (CEV).
These team sports had been seeking for some time to further their common voice at European level – whether on European Union (EU) matters or other issues. As many areas affecting these sports are shaped by EU legislation, the EU institutions are a natural partner to the European Team Sports Association. In their joint statement the European Team Sports Association expresses its desire to work in partnership together with their direct institutional counterparts, namely the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, in order to shape a healthy future for European sport.
Together the six sports have developed a joint position on sport and the EU, focusing particularly on why sport should not be treated like any other business. The ETS supports the view that the specific nature of sport should be fully acknowledged by all European institutions.