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Date
25 Jan 2010
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IOC News

Olympic and Sports Movement unified on EU sport topics


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today launched the Olympic and Sports Movement’s unified position on how the wording on sport in the EU’s new Lisbon Treaty should be put into practice.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Zapatero, IOC member and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter presented the position paper to the Spanish Presidency. Signatories include the IOC, the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and the umbrella organisations of the International Federations (ASOIF, AIOWF and SportAccord).

Legal basis for sport

The Lisbon Treaty came into effect on 1 December 2009 and, for the first time, provides a legal basis for sport in the EU - something for which the Olympic and Sports Movement has been fighting for the last 15 years. Articles 6 and 165 stress the significance of sport in Europe, recognise its specific nature, and define the promotion of sport as a Community objective.

Practical solutions for safeguarding specificity

Whilst the EU institutions are currently working on how the new references on sport should be interpreted, the Spanish EU Presidency has declared the development of sport as one of its priorities and invited the Olympic and Sports Movement to collaborate closely early on. The position paper that was presented today offers practical solutions, especially when it comes to defining the specific characteristics of sport. Sporting rules of technical nature, rules in the framework of international sports competitions as well as club competitions, rules preserving the integrity of sport and those related to dispute resolution mechanisms definitely deserve specific treatment. The paper, which also tackles issues like doping, gambling and betting, will be circulated to decision-makers in the European Commission, the European Parliament as well as to the EU Sports Ministers. Furthermore, it will be presented during upcoming key events of the Spanish Presidency, under which, for the first time ever, a formal Council of Sports Ministers will take place.

Protect sport’s autonomy

Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, said: “It is important that sport speaks with a unified voice and offers practical solutions when sport is challenged in the EU context. This is exactly what we have done today. We hope that Articles 6 and 165 and how they are interpreted by the EU institutions will help to protect the specific characteristics and the autonomy of sport.”   

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