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19 Oct 2007
IOC News , Press Release

Sport in the EU reform treaty

The European Union (EU) reform treaty that was adopted by the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states in Lisbon last night makes explicit reference, for the first time, to the specific nature of sport.
Article 124a) of the new treaty stipulates that “The Union shall contribute to the promotion of European sporting issues while taking account of its specific nature, its structures based on voluntary activity and its social and educational function”.
This new wording retains the substance of the proposed text in the aborted project to establish a new constitution for Europe (article III – 282) and it is also in line with the Nice Declaration (2000), which made reference to the “specific characteristics” of sport.
The Olympic and sporting movement is delighted by this historic move, which reflects a demand previously expressed on many occasions by the International Olympic Committee, the National Olympic Committees, the European Olympic Committees, the 35 international federations and their European confederations.
Commenting on this historic step, the IOC President Jacques Rogge said: "This is definitely an important moment and we are grateful to the 27 EU member states. The Olympic Movement has fought for a legal basis for sport in the EU for more than 12 years. Today I can say it was worth the endurance. The reference to the specificity of sport will strengthen the role of sport in Europe. Sport cannot be approached only as an economic activity. The biggest part of sport, taking place at grassroots level, is based on voluntary structures. With the reference to sport in the EU Reform Treaty, it will be easier for sports organisations in Europe to fulfill their educational and social role in society."
The Olympic and sporting movement has high hopes for the inclusion of the notion of the specific nature of sport in the EU treaty and will closely follow its application, most notably when it comes to defining its exact contents.
For further information, please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email:
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