ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and ECA Executive Board Member Andrea Agnelli met with the EU Sports Commissioner Tibor Navracsics in Stockholm today.
The meeting allowed for an open and constructive discussion on a number of key issues currently being addressed in professional football and of particular interest to clubs. Chief among these was the topic of Good Governance and the need for governing federations to continuously examine ways to enhance the approach to decision-making in order to reflect the realities of the modern game - not least in relation to involvement of stakeholders. Other topics addressed included the recently agreed European Commission - UEFA Partnership Agreement, Financial Fair Play, Third-Party Ownership, developments relating to the Social Dialogue and relations between clubs and players.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stressed the importance of stakeholders to work alongside the EU and other Public Authorities to find ways to further the development of the game in Europe. He acknowledged the European Commission's willingness to listen carefully to those involved in managing the game on a day-to-day basis in developing its sports policy and re-iterated that the EU and its institutions had an important role to play in helping stakeholders maximise the quality and potential of the sports sector in Europe - while fully supporting the concept of autonomy. In this respect, he added both sides had developed a constructive and balanced approach to working together ever since the EU had been granted formal powers in the area of Sport following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty.
The meeting concluded with the signature of a partnership agreement, which formalises ECA's support towards the 2015 European Week of Sport - an initiative aimed at increasing the number of people regularly engaging in sports activities.
Commenting on the meeting, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated:
"I am very happy to have met with Tibor Navracsics and share with him ECA's views and vision for the further development of football in Europe. I was encouraged to hear at 1st hand his willingness to engage constructively with ECA throughout his mandate at the European Commission. I come out of this meeting with the strong belief that the Commissioner acknowledges and understands the position of ECA on all issues that were addressed."
Commissioner Navracsics added:
"As the European Commission looks to move forward in developing its sport policy further, it is important that we have a continuous, open dialogue with the sports movement, including stakeholders involved in the day-to-day running of football clubs. This is why I am very happy to have met with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Andrea Agnelli and to have heard ECA's views on important topics. I look forward to engaging regularly with the clubs in the coming years. Finally, I am delighted that ECA has agreed to formally support the European Week of Sport – an initiative I believe will have long-lasting and positive effects in encouraging more people to do sports."