European Parliament backs EPFL’s views on the future of sport

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The EPFL welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of a report on the European Dimension in Sport.

The report, commonly known as “The Fisas report”, constitutes a response to the European Commission’s Communication on sport issued on January 2011 and outlines different measures aimed at implementing the new European Union competence in sport for the years to come. In a first reaction to the adoption of this report, the EPFL CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros acknowledged that it contains ?important recommendations which will help to shape the future of sport in Europe? and added: “The EPFL represents 30 leagues who are the pinnacle of professional football in their countries. We are glad that our views were sought by the European Parliament and indeed incorporated in this report.”

Through this report, the European Parliament has given its support to a wide range of key proposals and core values, which have been promoted and advocated by the EPFL for several years, such as:

– A renewed call for good governance in sport in compliance with the principles of democracy, transparency, accountability and more particularly “The need for appropriate representation of all stakeholders in the decision-making process”

– A zero-tolerance policy against match-fixing, illegal betting, money laundering and doping in professional sport by making them criminal offences;

– A stronger cooperation and exchange of information between police and judiciary forces in the EU Member States, as well as between public authorities and the sports movement, to effectively crack down on violence in stadia, criminality in sport and other threats to the core values and integrity of competitions and their participants;

– The clear recognition that the “violation of sports organisations’ intellectual property rights” and “the upsurge in digital piracy, especially the unlicensed live transmission of sports events, puts the economy of the entire sports sector at risk”;

– The acknowledgement that sports betting constitutes as ‘a form of commercial exploitation of competitions’ and the consequent call to the European Commission and EU Member States to recognise and protect the competition organisers’property rights, “guaranteeing a significant contribution from betting operators” towards “funding grassroots sports” and “protecting the integrity of competitions”

– The re-affirmation of the “fundamental importance of commercial exploitation of audio-visual rights for sport competitions being carried out on a centralised, exclusive and territorial basis with a view to guaranteeing that revenues are distributed fairly”; and, but not limited to,

– The recommendation to the European Commission to “propose a dedicated and ambitious budget for sports policy”;

The adoption of this report represents the culmination of a long and fruitful process in which the EPFL has been actively involved. It also reflects an acknowledgement of EPFL’s credentials as a major and credible interlocutor for public authorities across Europe in pursuance of the football’s positive values, long-term interests and future development. 

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