Olympic And Sporting Movement
The European Union (EU) reform treaty that was adopted by the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states in Lisbon on 18 octrober 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. “FIFA has led a long campaign for the specific nature of sport to be recognised. The EU reform treaty shows that the Council of the European Union has heard us. I would like to thank the heads of state and government of the EU member states for their support. This is a major event that is crucial for the management of sport in general and especially football,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. 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.