The increasing commercialisation of sport raises important questions concerning regulation. The development of the European Union (EU) and the internationalization of sporting competition have added an international dimension to this debate. Yet sport is not only a business, it is a social and cultural activity. Can regulation at the EU level reconcile this tension? Adopting a distinctive legal and political analysis, this book argues that the EU is receptive to the claim of sport for special treatment before the law. It investigates the birth of EU sports law and policy by examining the impact of the Bosman ruling and other important European Court of Justice decisions, the relationship between sport and EU competition law, focusing particularly on the broadcasting of sport, the organization of sport and the international transfer system, and the relationship between sport and the EU Treaty, focusing in particular on the impact of the Amsterdam and Nice declarations on sport and the significance of the Helsinki report on sport. This text raises questions concerning the appropriate theoretical tools for analysing European integration.

Open Access (free)

The defining characteristic of European Union (EU) sports policy is the construction of a discrete area of EU sports law. EU sports law extends beyond the mere application of law to sport, to the construction of a legal approach for dealing with sports disputes which allows both the EU's regulatory and political policy objectives for sport to co-exist within the EU sports policy framework. The emergence of a coordinated EU sports policy held together by a discrete area of sports law is a new development in the EU. The sports policy subsystem is composed of two advocacy coalitions: Single Market coalition and socio-cultural coalition. The construction of the separate territories approach for dealing with legal disputes involving sport is the defining characteristic of coordinated sports policy. The future debate on the relationship between sport and the EU will be dominated by the issues of sports law and doping.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

The current legal interventions in sport balance the European Union (EU)'s regulatory and political policy interests in sport. EU sports law is a product of the EU's sports policy. The juridification of sport accelerated interest in the idea of sport and the law as an area of legal study. The EU emerged as the key new regulatory actor. The commercialisation of sport in Europe was an essential pre-requisite for international juridification. EU sports law was born out of the post-Bosman political discussions on the future of sport in the EU. The Single Market advocacy coalition pursues a regulatory policy interest in sport. Sport should be treated differently to other economic sectors before the law. The development of sports law is an approach favoured by both coalitions as it allows them to protect their fundamental belief systems.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

This chapter investigates the theoretical basis for European Union (EU) sports law and policy. The arguments forwarded by intergovernmentalists and neofunctionalists are reviewed. Hoffmann's obstinate nation state restricted itself to uncontroversial economic integration. Milward argues that the EU became an external support system for Europe's nations. Moravcsik's accounts of European integration focus on the preferences and power of the member states. Neofunctionalism remains clearly distinct from the intergovernmentalist camp in that neofunctionalism de-emphasises state capabilities in the regional integration process. Sabatier's Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) focus on competing advocacy coalitions within policy subsystems effectively captures the real nature of EU governance. He identifies a number of factors affecting the development of policy within a subsystem. The focus on the role of political institutions in shaping policy is the concern of new institutionalism. The interplay between actors and institutions creates policy-specific governance regimes within policy subsystems.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

This chapter outlines the pre-Bosman environment where no sports policy subsystem operated. The emergence and composition of the pre-Bosman subsystem are reported. Additionally, it examines the institutional resources at the coalitions disposal. A belief in the primacy of negative integration is central to the deep core belief system of the Single Market coalition. Sport must abide by the fundamentals of European Union (EU) primary and secondary legislation. The socio-cultural coalition acknowledges that sport is not above the law. Not all sports bodies support the maximalists' agenda. Sabatier argues that competition between rival advocacy coalitions within the subsystem can generate policy change. Member state activity in sport has increased since Bosman. It is argued that compromise has been essential to the birth of EU sports law and policy. The birth of sports law is a tactic employed to avoid the use of legislation specifically directed at sport.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

This chapter outlines the legal context of sports relationship with the European Union (EU). The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings for Bruno Walrave, Gaetano Donà, George Heylens, Bosman, Christelle Deliège and Jyri Lehtonen receive particular attention. The ECJ has clearly established that sport is subject to EU law in so far as it constitutes an economic activity within the meaning of Article 2 of the Treaty. Article 39 covers the activities of private sports associations. The European Commission's attitude towards discriminatory practises in sport was somewhat contradictory. Article 39 covers any rules aimed at regulating employment in a collective manner. Sport is clearly subject to EU law and Article 39 is horizontally directly effective. Walrave and Donà served to widen the scope of the Treaty and afford greater protection to workers. Sport was transferred through a legal/regulatory venue involving a close relationship between the ECJ and the Commission.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

This chapter explores the relationship between sport and European Union (EU) competition law. Article 82 provides guidance as to the types of agreement that might be considered abusive. Collective selling in sport has only recently been addressed by the Commission of the European Communities. The significance of the Commission's approach lies in their willingness to acknowledge the specificity of sport. Ticketing arrangements for major sporting events arguably falls between the exploitation market and the contest market. EU law goes some way to protect the right of free movement for players in the EU. Despite the split that emerged between FIFA, UEFA and FIFPro, the Nice Declaration offered football's governing bodies an ideal opportunity to secure a favourable settlement with the Commission. The use of soft law poses some important questions for sports relationship with the EU. The soft law sporting principles contained with the separate territories approach are legally fragile.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

This chapter examines the political context of sports relationship with the European Union (EU). The 1994 Larive report links the active or passive participation in sport with the social and cultural identity of people. The Pack report reflects the more socio-cultural tendencies within the Parliament. The Television Without Frontiers (TWF) Directive goes against a trend in European sport favouring a free market in broadcasting. The Amsterdam Declaration added impetus to the socio-cultural agenda whilst equipping them with an additional institutional venue to exploit. The Helsinki report represents a continuation of Parliamentary thinking regarding the importance of extending the right of free movement to all EU citizens. Policy change is evident within the sports policy subsystem. The regulation of sport in the EU has been politicised. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings/decisions are significant in that they mark the birth of an area of EU law called ‘EU sports law’.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union

This chapter explores the future of European Union (EU) sports law and policy. The Bosman ruling led to the creation of the sports policy subsystem. A system of law governing the practice of sport is emerging in the EU of which the use of soft law is a particular feature. For the Single Market coalition, soft law does not legally challenge entrenched Treaty principles. For the socio-cultural coalition, soft law, although less satisfactory, allows for the construction of the separate territories approach which can safeguard sports autonomy. The future of sports law and policy is likely to be influenced by developments external and internal to the EU. The Single Market coalition and the socio-cultural coalition possess the institutional resources to undermine each other's deep and policy core belief systems. Sport should recognise that the EU is remarkably receptive to claims of special treatment.

in Sports law and policy in the European Union