EPFL Plays Active Role in European Sports Forum

EPFL CEO, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, at the EU Sport Forum in Biarritz

The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) played a very active and impacting role during the European Sports Forum, held Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th in Biarritz, France.

Represented by the Chairman Sir David Richards and the CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, as well as by the deputy Chairman Frédéric Thiriez, the EPFL was invited by the European Commission to share its views and proposals on a number of key issues facing Professional Sport in Europe. The invitation made by the European Commission represents an explicit act of acknowledgement of the EPFL’s credentials as a major and constructive force within European Sport and a relevant and credible interlocutor vis-�-vis the EU institutions for Professional Football related matters. Preceding the informal meeting of EU Sport Ministers on 27-28 November 2008, the EU Sports Forum was a proper opportunity for more than 200 leading representatives from European sport organisations, national sport confederations, National Olympic Committees and international sport stakeholders discuss the future of Sport in Europe and the major challenges ahead.

The EPFL CEO, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, was one of the keynote speakers in the first session of the Forum, focused on “The implementation of the White Paper on Sport and the European Social Dialogue”, as well as in its third and final session, dedicated to “The Specificity of Sport”. On the occasion, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros stressed: “By assuring the involvement of all actors in the decision-making and in the implementation process, the European Social Dialogue represents, undoubtedly, a key tool for better European governance, greater legal certainty and problem solving. Offering a way forward for Professional Football in Europe. Respecting the autonomy of the social partners, as well as the self-regulatory nature Professional Football. And ensuring the aimed balance between labour law and the specific characteristics of our sport”.

The EPFL has also welcomed the fact that the European Commission has placed sport high on the EU political agenda and affirmed its commitment to actively participate in the ongoing consultation process regarding the definition of the principle of specificity of sport. Within this context, the Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros  presented to the sport movement and political authorities the EPFL’s vision and priorities as per the Association’s ‘Declaration of Principles on the Future of Professional Football in Europe’ and stressed the merits of the ‘Structured dialogue’ pursued by the European Commission.

Embodying a clear reformist spirit and a strong social conscience, the EPFL ‘Declaration of Principles’ reflects the common concerns and aspirations of all those entities that have the privilege and responsibility of regulating, administering and organising Professional Football within the European Union Member States, and reiterate’s the EPFL’s willingness to continue working with our colleagues  of UEFA, FIFA and other key stakeholders.

In light of recent speculations surrounding the financial management of European sport, and particularly Professional Football, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros assured that “The EPFL will neither react to sound bites nor make inflammable and irresponsible statements in the public square or through the media”. “Whilst we acknowledge that everybody is entitle to have their own opinion, this are serious matters, which must be treated in a serious manner and in the appropriate forums”,

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