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Brussels highlights and important meetings

Published: Wednesday 15 December 2010, 16.06CET
UEFA president Michel Platini has been a frequent guest of the highest-level representatives of the European Union.

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Published: Wednesday 15 December 2010, 16.06CET

Brussels highlights and important meetings

UEFA president Michel Platini has been a frequent guest of the highest-level representatives of the European Union.

In March 2007, Brussels was the setting for an exceptional meeting between UEFA president Michel Platini and the European Commission president José Manuel Barroso. It was an opportunity for them to discuss the governance of sport in Europe and raise a number of issues which UEFA and its member associations are currently facing. At a press conference, the two presidents then introduced the gala match between Manchester United FC and a Europe XI, staged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which laid the foundations of the European Union (EU).

In February 2009, the UEFA president made a historic speech to the European Parliament in Brussels. Setting out his vision for the future of European football, Michel Platini called for the safeguarding of football's essential values against a series of dangers threatening the game's fabric. The opening address was given by the president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering.

In November 2009, Michel Platini met with the new president of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek. The UEFA president was able to put forward the case for many of the current issues affecting European football, and which require the understanding and support of the European Union and the European Parliament. Under discussion were five key issues: the protection of the European sporting model based on the pyramidal structure and the notions of the specificity of sport and autonomy of the sports federations; financial fair play; the protection of minors and the clubs that train them; betting and match-fixing; the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2012 final round in Poland-Ukraine.

In March 2010, UEFA president Michel Platini and the European commissioner for culture, education, multilingualism and youth, Androulla Vassiliou, who also has responsibility for sport, met to continue the ongoing dialogue between UEFA and the European Commission. Together they went through the main problems currently facing the governance of European football, such as financial fair play, sports betting, the fight against violence, the role of players' agents and the protection of young players and academies.

In April 2010, Michel Platini met with the vice-president of the European Commission responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, Viviane Reding; and Michel Barnier, EU commissioner for internal market and services. The UEFA president stressed the importance of the close relationship between UEFA and the European Commission. Constructive talks were held on the protection on minors, betting, financial fair play, the fight against violence and doping.

In April 2010, UEFA president Michel Platini was invited to the Committee of the Regions, where he addressed many of UEFA's chief concerns and underscored football's role as a unifying social force. In his address, the UEFA president stressed the need to preserve the European sports model and strengthen sport's specific nature, and highlighted financial fair play, the fight against match-fixing and the protection of young football players.

In September 2010, Michel Platini met with the vice-president of the European Commission responsible for competition policy, Joaquín Almunia; the EU commissioner for employment and social affairs, László Andor; and the minister for sports of the Flemish government (Belgium), Philippe Muyters. The UEFA president had the chance to put forward a number of key issues affecting European football, such as financial fair play, stable education paths for young athletes and media rights.

In October 2011, Michel Platini highlighted the challenges facing UEFA and European football in a speech to European Union sports ministers in Krakow, Poland. Expressing his concerns about match-fixing and the well-being of national-team football, and explaining the reasoning behind UEFA's financial fair play measures, Mr Platini called on governments to take action to help UEFA ensure a bright future for European football.

Last updated: 08/12/13 2.02CET

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