Sport at the heart of the European Union's new constitution
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced in Madrid a joint proposal placing sport at the heart of the European Union (EU)'s new constitution
The proposed text for an article on sport, that results from an extensive consultation between the IOC, the European Olympic Committees (EOC), the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), and football bodies FIFA and UEFA, focuses on the need to protect the social, educational and cultural role that sport plays in European society. The proposed text will be submitted by the IOC on behalf of all International Federations and National Olympic Committees to the Convention for the Future of Europe, the forum in charge of drafting a new EU constitution. The project for a new EU constitution will be presented to the European Council of Thessanoliki on 20 and 21 June. A meeting between IOC President Jacques Rogge and Convention President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing is expected to be held in the near future.
The European institutions and the sports movement have shared for several years the wish to place sport at the centre of the European project. The proposed text approved this week shows the determination of all parties to underline the competence and autonomy of sports federations, while giving sport, and the strong values that it promotes, a key position in European discussions where it had until now essentially been considered from an economic angle. In the same vein, the EU has recently proclaimed 2004 "European Year of Education through Sport".