The European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO), the umbrella body for the national sport confederations and national Olympic organisations in Europe welcomes the inclusion of sport as an area in which the EU can carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the member states. "The Treaty will allow the European Union to implement the work of the recent White Paper for Sport and thereby support the biggest social movement in Europe by developing real funding streams for the benefit of sport and European citizens," said the organisation in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was "delighted by this historic move". "The Olympic Movement has fought for a legal basis for sport in the EU for more than 12 years. The reference to the specificity of sport will strengthen the role of sport in Europe. Sport cannot be approached only as an economic activity. The biggest part of sport, taking place at grassroots level, is based on voluntary structures. With the reference to sport in the EU Reform Treaty, it will be easier for sports organisations in Europe to fulfil their educational and social role in society," said the IOC President Jacques Rogge.
"Sport is the biggest social movement in the EU and plays a key role in the fields of integration, education and health. The IOC is convinced that the creation of a legal basis for sport in the EU Reform Treaty would better address the needs of sport and provide a sound legal framework for the future," stated IOC in a press release.
"Autonomy means preserving the values of sport and the existing structures through which it has developed in Europe and around the world. Sport can play its unique role thanks to its autonomy, and this role would be seriously compromised if sports governing bodies are subject to public interference," said Rogge.
"The Olympic and sporting movement is delighted by this historic move, which reflects a demand previously expressed on many occasions by the International Olympic Committee, the National Olympic Committees, the European Olympic Committees, the 35 international federations and their European confederations," said a FIFA statement.
"FIFA has led a long campaign for the specific nature of sport to be recognised. The EU reform treaty shows that the Council of the European Union has heard us. I would like to thank the heads of state and government of the EU member states for their support. This is a major event that is crucial for the management of sport in general and especially football," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
G-14, the voice of eighteen European football clubs, also welcomed the Reform Treaty. "This decision of EU leaders is a welcome step as it maintains the principle that all actors in the sporting community, be they clubs, players or sporting federations are fully subject to European law. The decision of the EU leaders safeguards legal certainty and corresponds with the long held view of G-14 that all in the sporting community should be equal before the law. This guarantees recognition of the specific nature of sport which remains subject to the clarification of the European Court of Justice on a case-by-case basis," said G-14 General Manager Thomas Kurth.
Already earlier, the G-14 had together with Euroleague Basketball (ULEB) and Group Club Handball welcomed the draft article on sport [which was finally adopted] as they believed it ensures "a fair balance between the legitimate interests of the diverse actors in the sports sector." The three organisations supported the draft and were not looking for it to be changed, unlike IOC, FIFA or UEF.
The German Sports Federation (DSB) has repeatedly called for the consideration of the protection and promotion of the special characteristics of sport, that is the autonomy of sports organisations, the voluntary nature of their structures and the team spirit and solidarity between all levels of the sports movement. It has also called for legal recognition of the educational, social, health-promoting, cultural and integrating role of sport for the community.