The Lisbon Treaty and a new start to European Sports Law

Author: Arsen Bačić; Petar Bačić
Language: English; Croatian; Serbian
Published: 2011
Source: Directory of Open Access Journals: DOAJ Articles
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Even though European Law up to the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty (LT) had not even mentioned sport, law on sport was constantly and at length applied for almost 35 years through the provisions on free movement and competition law. With the adoption of the LT, sport was explicitly mentioned in art. 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, whereby an undoubtedly new legislative competence was created. New provisions determined that EU activity be directed at encouraging ‘promoting European sport while taking into account the specific nature of sport, its structure which is founded on voluntary activity and sport’s social and educational role as well as at ‘developing the European dimension in sport, promoting impartiality and openness in sporting competitions and cooperation among bodies of authority in sport and the protection of the physical and moral integrity of young athletes.’ In this paper, the genesis and character of the EU approach to sport is analysed and particular attention is paid to the attitude of the ECJ towards sport. An attempt is made to answer the question of to what extent the interpretation of certain phrases from art. 165 of the TFEU (‘the specific nature of sport’ ‘impartiality’, openness’) provides further impetus to the ‘ judicial construction’ principle of EU sports law as one of the most significant determinants of the European level of recognisability in relation to its global competitors.