European Social Dialogue Launch in the Professional Football Sector

1 July 2008, Paris

EPFL recognised by the European Commission as the social partner representing the employers
The EPFL and its member Leagues will have an active role on the launch of the European Social Dialogue in the Professional Football sector, scheduled for tomorrow, 1 July 2008, in Paris.

Representing the major 27 European Leagues and more 900 clubs across Europe , the EPFL has been recognised by the European Commission as the social partner representing the employers at the European level, and FIFPro as the footballers’representatives. The two social partners will sign tomorrow the rules of procedure of the new EU Social Dialogue committee, together with the ECA and UEFA as associate parties.

The signature of the document will occur during the ceremony which will be opened by Vladimir Spidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and J?n Figel, EU Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.

The social partners’aim is to bring greater legal certainty and contractual stability, a need shared by both clubs and players and their representative structures. Minimum requirements for players’contracts (such as insurance, education, dispute settlement, etc.) will be the first topics on the table. In accordance with the rules of procedure of the European Social Dialogue committee and the EU Treaty, the social partners can conclude agreements in the area of employment relations in the Professional Football sector at the European level.

Culminating a long and hard journey of intense work and persistence, the creation of this social dialogue platform is regarded as an historic achievement. The EPFL and FIFPro have been working on the establishment of an official social dialogue at the European level for six years, with the involvement of UEFA and, more recently, the ECA.

The launch of the European Social Dialogue under the auspices of the European Commission will now enable EPFL and FIFPro to effectively contribute to the shaping of employment relations and working conditions specifically for the Professional Football sector in an autonomous and participative way.

Stressing the significance of the event, the EPFL CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, who has been involved in this process since the very beginning, stated:

“We are witnessing the sparking of a new era in terms of football governance. Combining values of mutual respect, shared responsibilities and constructive cooperation between all members of the football family, the European Social Dialogue will reinforce the self-regulatory nature of Professional Football, promoting greater social consultation, contractual stability and effective problem solving. This is truly a great day for Professional Football in Europe!?
The European Commission has welcome the efforts developed by both social partners and has reconfirmed its support for the social dialogue in the whole sport sector in its own White Paper on Sport, released one year ago.

The new European Social Dialogue committee will also work in harmony with the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council, composed by representatives of national associations, leagues, clubs and players.

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