EU Athletes releases its new Common Position Paper

EU Athletes releases its new Common Position Paper

EU Athletes, the European federation of independent athlete unions and associations from different sports, representing more than 25 000 individual athletes, has released the newest Common Position Paper developed and agreed by its members. A working group composed by EU Athletes members and supported by staff was created to submit a new Draft Common Position Paper that could be discussed and amended during the last General Assembly that took place in Lisbon in June 2018.

The new Common Position Paper aims to articulate European athletes’ voice on key topics such as athlete rights, good governance, economic dimension of sport, match-fixing, anti-doping, personal development and cooperation with other stakeholders. The new Common Position Paper takes into accounts recent developments and issues, formulating clear proposals and recommendations directed at European institutions, Member States and sport organizations.

For EU Athletes General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk, “EU Athletes is owned by its members and it essential for us that they got actively involved in the review of the Common Position Paper. Our goal is to improve the sport governance for the benefit of the players, but also the sport itself. In order to do so, we are looking forward to dialogue and cooperation with public and private stakeholders, to make sure that sport respects athletes’ fundamental rights as people, citizens and workers.”

You can download the document under the following link: EU Athletes 2018 Common Position Paper

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Maternity Rights and Minimum Wage for the Women’s WorldTour

Maternity Rights and Minimum Wage for the Women’s WorldTour

The Cyclists’ Alliance is pleased that the UCI has continued down a path of reform and improvement in women’s elite cycling, starting in 2020. New contract minimum standards, including maternity leave and a starting point for a Women’s WorldTour minimum salary, are important next steps in the evolution of our sport.

As reported in by editor Kristen Frattini, the Alliance played an important part in both of these developments. First, Iris Slappendel was able to share suggested contract terms in the Alliance’s “model contract” with the UCI, in her role as a member of the Women’s WorldTour committee. (As the UCI does not yet recognize any women’s rider union, the model contract was shared only in her capacity as a committee member.)

Our model contract, which is available to our members to help you in your own contract negotiations, was drafted to contain many common protections available in other professional sports. Maternity leave is actually a critical protection for working women everywhere, but this is the first time women in cycling will have such a safety net.

As written by Frattini, Slappendel “advocated for maternity leave and insurance surrounding maternity. It’s been a big topic of discussion because there are people who find it difficult to understand, who feel that an athlete should not become pregnant because it is a cost to the team.” However, as women are having longer careers in the sport, and returning to race after having children, women’s cycling is overdue for maternity rights.

As we have shared before, you should not have to sacrifice your career for your family, and as our sport modernizes and listens to its riders, you may not have to. The other major announcement of a 15,000 EUR starting salary for WWT team riders is also encouraging. While the UCI has stated a target to eventually match the standard of Men’s Continental salaries (30,000 EUR), we will continue to lobby the UCI and work with all of the teams throughout our sport to find the right salary for the economics in women’s cycling.

We hope to eventually negotiate directly with any future association of our teams and create a Collective Bargaining Agreement for a minimum salary. In the meanwhile, only the WWT teams will be required to offer a minimum salary, which may create inequity in the sport in the short term. However, as women’s cycling gains popularity, we will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the economics and create better salary conditions for everyone, in all of our racing disciplines, for our teammates and professional staff alike.

The original article from EU Athletes member, the Cyclists Alliance can be found here.

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Internship offer

Internship offer

EU Athletes is the European federation of player associations and sport trade unions (, representing more than 35 players associations in 18 different European countries. We are also affiliated to UNI Global Union and its sport sector World Players Association, the international federation of player unions (

EU Athletes is looking for an intern to support the team in management and implementation of the Erasmus+ PROtect Integrity Plus project (fight against match-fixing). The internship will also include daily communication and administrative tasks, as well as development and policy work in different areas, according to the profile and preferences of the successful candidate.

The position will provide an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in the professional sport sector, working for independent organisation representing European athletes from different sports.

Duration of the internship: 5-6 months, starting in February 2019

Monthly compensation, with possibility to apply for Erasmus+ Mobility for Traineeships

Location of the internship: Brussels, with possible travel within the EU

Profile of the intern:

  • Student currently enrolled in master’s degree programme;

  • Knowledge of Erasmus+ programme and methodology of projects management;

  • Excellent writing, summarizing and reporting;

  • Strong organization skills;

  • Computer skills;

  • Sociable, with strong communication and people skills;

  • Autonomy, mobility and flexibility;

  • Fluent in English, knowledge of other European languages is a plus.

An interest in the professional sports environment is an advantage, as well as a sensitivity in (sports) trade unionism and the rights of athletes. Finally, a reflection/knowledge on the impact of the European law and policies on the professional sports sector would be highly appreciated.

Interested candidates are asked to send their application (CV and a short cover letter) before the 25th of November 2018. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews, which will take place at the beginning of December (in Brussels or via Skype).

Contact: Paulina Tomczyk

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Protection of human rights and fight against corruption on the agenda in Tbilisi

Protection of human rights and fight against corruption on the agenda in Tbilisi

The 15th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport took place on the 16th of October 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event was an opportunity to focus on main areas of interest of the Council of Europe, human rights and fight against corruption, in the framework of the activities of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport.

The Ministers, officials and sport stakeholders were discussing which steps should be taken by public authorities to address human rights’ violations and what are the obstacles to a more effective fight against corruption in sport. Following the Conference, two resolutions were adopted: “Protecting Human Rights in Sport: Obligations and Shared Responsibilities” and “Fighting Corruption in Sport: Scaling Up Action”, sending a positive signal confirming that public authorities recognize their role in assuring good governance and protection of human rights in the sport sector.

Voice of organized athletes was represented by EU Athletes General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk, who has underlined the need for involvement of independent athlete organizations in delivering good governance in sport and essential place of public authorities in making sure that internationally recognized human rights are protected and respected within sport context. The focus on human rights comes timely with the recent adoption of IOC Declaration of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities, which was criticized by athlete associations as well as some national athlete bodies and NGOs.

The Conference was followed by a Joint Meeting of Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly Sub-Committee on Education and Sub-Committee on Children, which focused on protection of children in sport and main topics of the Ministerial Conference, human rights and fight against corruption. Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in a panel discussion, pointing out the issues that athletes face within sporting context and the need to ensure that abuses of human rights of players, as people and workers, are properly addressed by public authorities and sport organizations.

Photo: Council of Europe

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IOC told: “Athlete rights are not a game”

IOC told: “Athlete rights are not a game”

EU Athletes supports the position of World Players Association, human rights advocates and athlete organisations, calling on the International Olympic Committee to seriously address the abuse of athlete rights. Statement from World Players Association:

NYON, SWITZERLAND – The World Players Association and the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA) have called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to abandon a proposed IOC declaration of athlete rights and commit to seriously address the abuse of athlete rights in world sport.

The proposed declaration is to be presented to the IOC Session in Buenos Aires next week. The World Players Association and the SRA have written to the IOC President Thomas Bach expressing their deep concern that the declaration will curtail fundamental athlete rights rather than protect them. National athlete bodies from Canada, Great Britain, Germany and the United States made the same call of the IOC.

“Athlete rights are not a game,” said Brendan Schwab, the Executive Director of World Players, the exclusive global association of organised players and athletes across professional sport. “The IOC’s proposed declaration does not come close to respecting the internationally recognised human rights of athletes, relegates athlete rights beneath the rules of sport governing bodies, and fails to give the victims of human rights abuse access to an effective remedy. It falls appallingly below the requirements of the Universal Declaration of Player Rights.

“Many athletes in the world today are confronting the violation of their fundamental rights, from the horrors of sex and child abuse to racism, discrimination, economic exploitation, environments that are physically and mentally unsafe, and suppression of their fundamental rights of freedom of association and expression.

“As the governing body of the Olympic Movement, the IOC has both a duty and the leverage to embed the fundamental rights of athletes throughout the Olympic Movement.”

The SRA – an unprecedented global coalition of NGOs and trade unions including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation and Transparency International Germany – has called for the IOC to postpone the development of any declaration of athlete rights.

Gigi Alford, coordinator of the SRA, said:

“The work that has been conducted by the IOC, including a limited athletes’ survey, cannot fulfil the requirements of meaningful consultation nor fully inform the IOC of the salient human rights risks confronting athletes.

“It is essential that the IOC delay the adoption of any declaration of athlete rights. It must instead prioritize implementing the framework of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, consisting of making a human rights policy commitment, conducting continuous human rights due diligence, and putting in place processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts the IOC may cause or to which it may contribute.”

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