In the presence of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Aleksander Čeferin, President of UEFA, are signing a new agreement, committing both parties to continue working together on common priorities such as the integrity of sport, good governance, respect for human rights and dignity, non-discrimination, solidarity and gender equality. The cooperation mainly takes the form of joint campaigns and exchanges at expert level – for example to tackle racism and discrimination, and to promote social inclusion of disadvantaged groups through sport. Specific fields of cooperation cover most of the challenges sport faces today, including violence, match-fixing, fair taxation, doping and racism. This second agreement builds on the previous one which ran from 2014 to 2017.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "I am pleased that the European Commission and UEFA will continue to work together to promote our common values through this sport which means so much to so many Europeans. Football players, men and women, are role models for children and adults across Europe. This great power can be an important ally in the fight against racism and discrimination, and for the promotion of solidarity, sustainability and equality on the pitch and in our daily lives. Football is also a cross-border business, with cross-border threats to its security and integrity which can be tackled in partnership with the European Commission. Together, we are a great team."
Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: "Football is so much more than a game, a passion or entertainment. Sport in general and football in particular have the power to bring people together, promote social inclusion and the values of solidarity and mutual respect. Football has a central place in the lives of many Europeans, and the new cooperation agreement with UEFA will help us to keep addressing issues such as good governance, sustainability and gender equality for the benefit of European football, but also our societies at large."
The agreement signed today also specifically highlights the importance of cooperation on UEFA EURO 2020, the European football championships in 2020, which will be the first to be held all over Europe, involving 12 different cities. It will be an opportunity to portray a positive image of Europe and its common values, whilst at the same time celebrating its cultural diversity. The Commission and UEFA agree on the importance of making the EURO 2020 a socially responsible and sustainable event leaving a positive legacy, while at the same time addressing challenges such as ensuring smooth travel across borders, safety and security.
The European Commission and UEFA signed their first cooperation agreement in October 2014 with the aim of strengthening the positive image of sport, especially football, and to realise its full potential in all areas of economic and social life.
UEFA is a contributor to the European Commission's European Week of Sport. UEFA also supports the European Commission's pledge for good governance in sport, and has recently introduced reforms in this area.
For more information
European Commission: Sport