FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann and FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos met in Athens on 30th October 2006 to discuss the recent developments in basketball and the renewed efforts to improve the legal framework on sports within the European Union.
In Europe and elsewhere around the world, pressure on basketball's governing bodies - FIBA, FIBA Europe and National Federations - is increasing and many forces, including major clubs and leagues, economical agents and, in some cases, governments, are trying to intervene in basketball governance at world, continental and national levels.
Having reviewed the Independent European Sports Review (IESR), FIBA and FIBA Europe express their common opinion as follows:
1. Sport is a social expression - not like any other business - and fulfills a unique social, educational and cultural role which benefits society as a whole.
2. Sport must maintain its autonomy to fully perform the roles described above and maintain its self-regulated decision-making processes based on the principle of subsidiarity.
3. The need for legal certainty and clearer definition of the borderline between governmental and sporting responsibility is essential in order to preserve and develop the sport's role.
4. FIBA and FIBA Europe understand and accept that political institutions expect proper governance in basketball's governing bodies. The basketball family will take upon itself this responsibility to ensure proper governance in a coordinated way and at all levels.
As a result FIBA and FIBA Europe consider that there is no need for the creation of a European Sports Agency as considered in the IESR. FIBA and FIBA Europe will work jointly to ensure that the IESR integrates the views of basketball's governing bodies to achieve a sound agreement between sport and political authorities in Europe for the benefit of the development of sport - and basketball in particular - in Europe and worldwide.