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29 Jan 2008
IOC News , Press Release

IOC holds productive meeting with EU Ministers

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today held a productive meeting with a number of EU Sports Ministers and their representatives at its headquarters in Lausanne. Aimed at fostering stronger dialogue between the governments and the Olympic Movement, this first gathering was a concrete step towards closer collaboration now that sport is mentioned in the EU Treaty - agreed upon by heads of states in Lisbon in October last year.
Discussions focused on the relevance of sport within the new EU Treaty and future implementation of this provision. The representatives of the Olympic Movement expressed their satisfaction at this important milestone and their determination to move things forward.
The autonomy and specificity of sport were also raised during the meeting, with the representatives of the Olympic Movement taking the opportunity to reiterate why the consideration of the specific characteristics of sport in the EU is crucial for the future of European sport.
The EU ministers and the Olympic Movement agreed on the principle of regular consultative meetings which would also include the European Parliament and the EU Commission.
“The IOC, together with the National Olympic Committees and International Federations, was keen to host this first meeting at our headquarters as part of our ongoing work to strengthen our dialogue with EU ministers”, said the IOC President.
“The time spent together today was very valuable, particularly as regards a deeper discussion about the reasons for sport's specific nature as mentioned in the new EU Treaty. Sport is not an economic activity per se. The biggest part of sport, taking place at grassroots level, is based on voluntary structures. This needs to be taken into account when it comes to new EU legislation which has an impact on sport. The IOC was delighted to hear confirmed that the autonomy of sports organisations must be protected. Agreement on this is, we believe, borne out of the role sport plays in society and the legitimacy and credibility sports organisations have earned through their own self-regulatory practices”, he added.

‘The sports ministers present are grateful to the IOC for holding this first meeting’, said Jeannot Krecké, Sports Minister from Luxemburg who coordinated the meeting. Today’s discussions will help build a constructive dialogue between the sports movement, the governments and EU institutions’, he concluded.
Present in Lausanne today:
The ministers’ representatives:
Austria:             Reinhold Lopatka, State Secretary
France:             Bernard Laporte, State Secretary
Germany:          Klaus Pöhle, Director
Italy:                 Roberta Innamorati, Cabinet representative
Luxemburg:       Jeannot Krecké, Minister
Portugal:           Laurentino Dias, State Secretary
Spain:               Jaime Lissavetzky, State Secretary
United Kingdom: Gerry Sutcliffe, Minister
The Olympic Movement:
- Jacques Rogge, IOC President
- Patrick Baumann, IOC member and FIBA Secretary General
- Jérôme Champagne, FIFA Director of International Relations
- Guy Drut, IOC member and EOC Executive Committee member
- René Fasel, IOC member and IIHF and AIOWF President
- Patrick Joseph Hickey, IOC member and EOC President
- Mario Pescante, IOC Executive Board member and Chairman of the IOC International Relations Commission
- Hellmund Folker, Head of the EU Office of German Sport
- Andrew Ryan, ASOIF Director
- Christophe De Kepper, IOC Chief of Staff
For further information, please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email: 
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