FIBA Europe Meets With EU

20 September 2006

FIBA Europe President Mr. George Vassilakopoulos and Secretary General Mr. Nar Zanolin were in Brussels on Wednesday for a meeting with the European Union to discuss important matters related to the future of European sport.

Over 40 different sport federations were represented.

FIBA Europe, together with representatives from the European football (UEFA), volleyball (CEV), handball (EHF) and ice hockey (IIHF) federations, issued the following common statement in respect to the European Commission White Paper project on sport and its relation to the Independent European Sport Review.

1. The team sport federations welcome and support the Independent European Sport Review as a concrete expression of how to implement the content of the Nice Declaration on the Specific Characteristics of sport approved by the EU Heads of State in 2000 and the Amsterdam Treaty Declaration on sport from 1997.

2. Sport is a social expression – not a business like any other – and fulfills a unique social, educational and cultural role which benefits society as a whole.

3. The European Sports Model, including the pyramid structure and as defined in more detail in the Independent European Sport Review, is currently under threat and must be preserved.

4. The autonomy and independence of sports governing bodies, underpinned by good governance, to manage their own sports are crucial for the future development of sport in Europe.

5. Recent and upcoming court cases in all sports mean that there is an urgent need for legal certainty and stability, which will not exist until there is a clear legal recognition of the specificity of sport.

6. The team sport federations appreciate the urgency expressed by the EU Sports ministers in addressing these issues that threaten European sport.

7. The team sport federations welcome the White Paper project currently launched by the European Commission and believe that the Independent European Sport Review should be incorporated as a key part of this work.

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