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Objective and Goals

Defending and promoting the rights and interests of elite athletes in Europe.

EU Athletes (officially called European Elite Athletes Association) was founded in 2008 in order to defend and promote athletes’ rights and interests.

EU Athletes is the leading multi-sport federation of athlete and player associations (sports trade unions) with 35 members in 17 European countries. More than 25,000 elite athletes are represented through the membership.

Find out more about our members here.

The objective of EU Athletes is:

  • to promote or stimulate solidarity and cooperation between athlete and player associations and sport organizations at national and international level
  • to provide a platform on which athlete and player associations can exchange ideas and best practices
  • to represent the collective voice of European athletes
  • to defend and promote the rights and interest of sportsmen and women.

EU Athletes is also integrated into the wider labour movement as a member the World Players Association, the professional sports sector of UNI Global Union.

EU Athletes is a recognized stakeholder in the sport sector at the European level. Since 2012, we have been represented on a several Council of Europe and European Union’s expert and working groups and other bodies, dealing with topics such as good governance, match-fixing, anti-doping, integrity, dual careers, gender equality and economic dimension of sport. EU Athletes is also a member of the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) Consultative Committee.

EU Athletes is also an experienced coordinator of projects co-financed by the European Union (Preparatory action in the field of sport, Erasmus and Erasmus+). Since 2012 Up to 2020, the organization was awarded with 6 different EU projects aiming to educate athletes on the risks of match fixing, to develop player associations support for dual career or to improve the support that the player associations provide for women athletes.

A leading role in the defense of athletes rights.

EU Athletes policy is elaborated and adopted by the members. The 2018 Common Position Paper defines organization’s priorities and highlights the following 8 key areas of work where EU Athletes is pushing for change for the benefit of athletes and the sport itself :

  1. Athletes as workers
  2. Athlete rights are human rights
  3. Good governance
  4. Integrity
  5. Antidoping
  6. Economic dimension of sport
  7. Dual career, player development and personal wellbeing
  8. Solidarity, partnerships and cooperation

The work of EU Athletes is strongly related to the defense and promotion of athletes’ interests and fundamental rights.

EU Athletes has also been involved in the case related to the International Skating Union’s eligibility rules and the right of athletes to take part in commercial events organized by independent parties. EU Athletes and its members encouraged and supported the fight of Mark Tuitert and Niels Kershtolt against the ISU with the campaign “#Chance To Compete”.
Recently EU Athletes is pushing for change in the application of the Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter.