Last week, the members of the EPAS Consultative Committee Bureau, including EU Athletes General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk, met at the Council of Europe’s office in Paris. Main focus of the meeting was to prepare a plenary meeting of the CC, which will take place in Strasbourg on the 5th of June, around the joint meeting of EPAS Governing Board and Consultative Committee. Discussions also included latest developments within the sport policy matters, amending the Terms of Reference, possible process of the revision of the European Sport Charter and the new applications to the Consultative Committee.
EU Athletes took part in the meeting for the European Basketball Player Associations on May 6th, in Milan. Within the scope of the European Commission funded project, “European Social Dialogue targeted initiative: strengthening social dialogue in the professional basketball sector”, the project coordinated by UNI Europa/World Players Association, with EU Athletes involved as an associated partner, brought together the basketball players associations of SNB (France), ABP (Spain) and GIBA (Italy) for this meeting.
The meeting was an opportunity for the players unions to exchange about the challenges and best practices from their respective unions, but also to discuss the entire landscape of European basketball. The meeting was an excellent platform for the sharing of the status quo of basketball players representation in Europe, identify areas for improvement in order to strengthen bargaining power and to map the stakeholder environment while identifying common positions and best practices.
The aim of this ongoing project has been to support organizing and capacity building in the professional basketball player unions, aiming to reinforce the social dialogue in basketball in order to tackle the new challenges of the game in Europe. Project also aims to gain a deeper understanding of the conditions of work, the views and experiences of both men and women basketball players.
The project will run until the end of September 2019 and the next project meeting will take place in June in Spain.
EU Athletes took part in the 2019, EU Sport Forum on 8-9th of April in Bucharest, Romania. The EU Sport Forum provided the platform for structured dialogue between the European Commission and various sport stakeholders from across Europe. The Forum’s main objective was to take stoke of progress achieved in implementing the EU agenda for sport and to seek stakeholder’s views on current and planned/possible future activities.
The Forum supplied interesting panel discussions with various stakeholders from across the sporting community who offered their expertise on current topics surrounding sport in Europe. There were particularly interesting topics for EU Athletes and its members on doping in sport, the rights of athletes, the role of federations in promotion of European sport, and justice in sport amongst various other topics.
For the first time at the EU Sport Forum the topic of athletes’ rights was granted a panel session, ‘Are the rights and interests of athletes sufficiently taken into account by sport governing bodies?’. This Panel, which EU Athletes own Paulina Tomczyk had the opportunity to be a part of, along with other player associations FIFPro Europe (represented by Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, Secretary General) and the NHLPA (represented by Sandra Monteiro, Chief of Global Business Strategies) provided interesting dialogue and discussion into the rights and protection of athletes. Some of the topics discussed during this session covered the labour rights of athletes, social dialogue and athlete representation as a whole.
The conference brought together more than 100 of the world’s leading player development professionals and player association executives from 47 countries and more than 13 different sports to learn from internationally recognized experts. A number of EU Athletes member associations participated in the event, allowing them to exchange views and experiences with other player associations’ representatives from around the World.
This conference was a unique opportunity to share the work done in Europe on player development and dual career support for professional players and elite athletes.
“Our members at EU Athletes are at the front line when it comes to developing programs to support players on dual career issues. We have great examples in many countries including Ireland, UK, Spain or Sweden. This conference allowed everyone to share their own experience and to also collect lots of information to improve their own program. We are now looking forward to the next conference in two years”.Paulina Tomczyk, EU Athletes General Secretary
The conference also highlighted the importance of such a forum for player associations:
“The amount of work that is being done in different countries and sports the field of player development is simply amazing and fascinating. It goes from induction seminars to face-to-face education programs or mental health support for players. We are all gaining a lot from a gathering like this one. We then can all go back to our association and evaluate what works and what can be improved. It’s really beneficial”Camille Delzant, UNFP and EU Athletes Board Member
The next forum will take place in the U.S, in 2021.
Find out more about EU Athletes PDM project on player development here
Official Launch of the new project – Combating Match Fixing in Club Football Non-Competitive Matches
EU Athletes took part in the first steering meeting for the new project coordinated by the University of Nicosia – Combating Match Fixing in Club Football Non-Competitive Matches, at the European Office of Cyprus on Thursday, 28 March. This ongoing project is co-funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ Program.
The project started this year and will conclude in December 2021, aiming to act upon a growing body of evidence of match-fixing in non-competitive matches at the lower level of the professional club game. There is a genuine need for the issue of fixing in non-competitive football matches to be the subject of serious analysis and for solutions in terms of governance reform and educational tools to be developed to combat the problem.
The project will address these issues by researching and investigating the level of the problem, developing governance and organizational solutions at a pan-European level and educational tools for key targets, notably players, clubs and national associations. The project will benefit other sports at a pan-European level as the findings and solutions developed for football can have significant areas in common with other sports.
EU Athletes, alongside footballers’ unions from Cyprus, Greece and Malta, will provide insight into instances of suspicious approaches of players in non-competitive matches. In addition, EU Athletes will provide support in developing educational tools to warn players and other stakeholders of the dangers posed by match fixers in non-competitive matches.