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27 Jan 2011
IOC News , Athletes' space , Press Release

Rogge and Vassiliou discuss EU and sport matters

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today met with Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne.

The aim of the meeting was to exchange views about the new communication paper “Developing the European Dimension in Sport”, which was published by the European Commission earlier this month. With the Lisbon Treaty providing a legal basis for sport and recognising its specific nature for the first time, the document contains a set of proposals on initiatives to be taken by the EU in the field of sport.

The EU Commissioner presented the details of the communication paper addressing the societal role of sport, its economic dimension and its organisation. The representatives of the Olympic Movement attending the meeting welcomed the Commission’s support for the collective selling of media rights as a means to ensure financial solidarity and redistribution mechanisms within sport. They also praised the Commission’s approach to the protection of intellectual property rights owned by sports organisations, which are an important revenue source for sport. In addition, support was expressed for the Commission’s intention to further define the specific nature of sport. 

Whilst the communication paper clearly recognises sport as a tool for social inclusion, the representatives of the Olympic Movement expressed concern that a new dedicated EU funding programme for sport has been put on hold. The importance of a specific budget line for the promotion of the social role of sport, especially at grassroots level, was stressed by the participants.

The IOC President took the opportunity to update Commissioner Vassiliou on the Olympic Movement’s latest initiatives in the fields of good governance, irregular betting and athletes’ career management – areas that are also addressed in the EU communication paper.

After the meeting, the IOC President said: “With the Lisbon Treaty and an article on sport in force, it is now time to make sure that the role of sport in Europe is further strengthened. Today’s meeting with Commissioner Vassiliou was very productive and gave us the opportunity to discuss how we can mainstream the social role of sport in various fields, and, at the same time fight the threats to sport’s integrity, such as  doping and irregular betting. I am looking forward to continuing the dialogue with the Commissioner in the future.”

Commissioner Vassiliou said: “The IOC is clearly a very important stakeholder for us, and I would like to thank the IOC President and the Olympic Movement representatives for their valuable feedback on how we can move things forward. The measures that we have formulated in our recent communication paper highlight sport's contribution to our society and outline a number of challenges which we want to tackle in close coordination with the member states and the world of sport.” 


The IOC delegation was led by IOC President Jacques Rogge and composed of Denis Oswald, IOC Executive Board Member and President of ASOIF (Olympic Summer Sports); René Fasel, IOC Executive Board Member and President of AIOWF (Olympic Winter Sports); Hein Verbruggen, IOC Honorary Member and President of SportAccord; Patrick Baumann, IOC member and Secretary General of FIBA; Guy Drut, IOC Member; Raffaele Pagnozzi, Secretary General of the European Olympic Committees; Bernard Lapasset, IRB President; Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General; Andrew Ryan, Director of ASOIF; and Christophe De Kepper, IOC Chief of Staff.

The EU delegation, headed by Commissioner Vassiliou, included Zenon Severis, Member of Cabinet; Gregory Paulger, Director of the DG Education and Culture; Pedro Velazquez Hernandez, Deputy Head of the Sports Unit; DG Education and Culture; and Thomas Näcke, member of the EU Delegation in Bern.


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