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InsiderOnline Blog: October 2004

The Creeping EU Hand

Lee Rotherham of The Bruges Group tells a scary tale of how the European Union got involved in legislating sports. I hate to ruin the end, but...

So this is where we are today. The Commission feels itself empowered to fund Sports projects and tinker in sports legislation where other EU legislation (such as the Single Market) overlaps. It is waiting for the final ratification of the EU Constitution, which would incorporate Sport as an area for legal activism.

Where that will lead us is anyone's guess. The EU Constitution made 2004 seem set to be the "starting point for a Community policy of sport". The Community would promote and 'restore' sporting values, and would pursue the educational and social potential of the domain. Reference followed to the need to increase stadium attendance levels; to the failures of national funding of national sports federations; of the desirability of integrating sports somehow into the Social Model (an obligatory paid hour down the gym?); and even possible legislation for a specific Eurocrime of doping in sport - logically, this would bring in Europol.

Ahh yes, an international governing body will restore sporting values. You know, because governments are so good with honesty and fair competition. Brilliant. What's scarier than this story is that the EU's sports meddling requires a regular feature at the Bruges Group site.

Posted on 10/19/04 11:06 AM by Mary Katherine Ham

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