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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 32 members in 15 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. EU Athletes has successfully implemented several 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 2022 Common Position Paper defines organization’s priorities and highlights the following 12 key areas of work where EU Athletes is pushing for change for the benefit of athletes and the sport itself :

1. Athlete rights are human rights
2. Athletes as workers
3. Good governance in sport
4. Economic dimension of sport
5. Match-fixing
6. Anti-doping
7. Dual career, personal development and wellbeing
8. Access to justice
9. Women’s sport
10. Recovery and sustainability of the sport sector
11. ‘European Sport Model’ according to organised athletes
12. 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 has been pushing for change in the application of the Rule 40 and 50 of the Olympic Charter and is active on other issues related to the rights of athletes as people, citizens and workers.