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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 14 October 2014

The European Commission and UEFA sign partnership agreement

In Brussels today the European Commission and UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) are signing a cooperation agreement covering the next three years. In the presence of José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner responsible for sport, and Michel Platini, President of UEFA, will sign the partnership agreement which will commit the two institutions to working together regularly in a tangible and constructive way on matters of shared interest: the integrity of sport, respect for human rights and dignity, non-discrimination and solidarity. The agreement is intended to strengthen the positive image of sport, in particular football, and to fully exploit its potential in all areas of economic and social life. Following the signing, Commissioner Vassiliou and President Platini will take part in a press point at around 16:30 today at the Berlaymont VIP corner.

Commissioner Vassiliou commented: "This agreement is a significant step in our cooperation with UEFA, an important partner for the European Commission in its dialogue with the world of sport. I am pleased that during my mandate the Commission has strengthened its links with UEFA, in close collaboration on a broad range of issues which affect football. Our objective has always been to maintain stability in the world of professional sport, appreciating its specific nature while at the same time fully complying with EU law. We are also committed to maximising the impact that sport can have on society as a catalyst for social change in areas such as improvement of health, informal learning and gender equality. We have worked well with UEFA in the past on these issues, and this agreement guarantees that our close cooperation will continue."

Michel Platini said: "We have come a long way in our relationship with the European Commission and this Arrangement for Cooperation is proof that our bond is stronger than ever. With the increased support of the European Commission, we will intensify our fight to safeguard the ethics of sport and to promote good governance. By working together, we will make sure football can overcome the many challenges it faces, whether it is discrimination, match-fixing, third party ownership or violence. UEFA is also pleased to have the commitment of the European Commission to cooperate in the promotion of grassroots football and to continue to support the implementation of the Financial Fair Play process, which will ensure football can grow and prosper in years to come. I am very proud of this Arrangement for Cooperation and believe that it comes at a crucial time for European football."

The areas of cooperation cover most of the challenges facing contemporary sport: corruption, match fixing, financial instability, doping, violence and racism. Moreover, the agreement targets other issues of less media interest but of great importance. For example, the promotion of education and training in football and through football.

Sport is part of the culture that is common to the people of Europe. It brings together millions of citizens regardless of their origin and plays an increasingly important role for society, particularly in terms of education, social integration and public health. Sport is also a fast-growing sector of the economy which makes an important contribution to growth and the creation of jobs in Europe.

UEFA also made a commitment to contribute actively to the European Week of Sport, which will be held for the first time in September 2015.

For further details:

Cooperation agreement between the European Commission and UEFA

European Commission: Sport

Androulla Vassiliou's website

Twitter @VassiliouEU

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

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