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EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics has welcomed FIFPro Europe in Brussels.

FIFPro Europe board member Mads Oland and secretary general Jonas Baer-Hoffmann met the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport to discuss a variety of matters including the required reforms of the transfer system, employment conditions of footballers in Europe, the development of women’s football, the protection of minors and the role of social dialogue in the governance of European professional football.

Building on previous discussions, there was an open exchange of views on how to ensure a sustainable development of football in which jobs for footballers are safeguarded and conditions of non-elite players and young players improved. A specific focus was also given to the diversity of the European football landscape. An important part of this being the implementation of minimum requirements of contracts and the empowerment of social dialogue as a means of decision-making in sports.

A particular focus of the exchange was placed on empowering the growth of the women’s game and allowing more players to develop professional careers. Equitable conditions for players were needed so players can focus on their careers and become role models for girls and women across Europe. FIFPro presented Commissioner Navracsics its 2017 Global Employment Report on Women’s Football and explained the motivation of a growing movement of female players organizing themselves with their unions.

Commissioner Navracsics said: “I welcome the visit of FIFPro and the opportunity to agree an even deeper cooperation between the Commission and the professional football players represented by FIFPro. It is very important for the Commission to maintain dialogue with all the major stakeholders of sport. With FIFPro we are going to focus on youth protection, the need to respect players’ contracts, and the promotion of gender equality in sport.”

On behalf of FIFPro Europe, Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said: “It is important to see that the Commissioner values the positions of players and the challenges they tackle away from the bright lights of the Champions Leagues or World Cup. That is why we are very pleased that we can even further deepen our cooperation with the Commission. Sport must evolve in partnership with government and embrace the founding principles of the EU and the internal market. Players today are not only participants of sport but central protagonists, ready to take responsibility for their sport. We look forward to working with governments to allow an even greater benefit of sport to European societies through initiatives like the European Week of Sport.”

FIFPro committed to extending their partnership with the European Week of Sport and to work closely with the Commission to implement the EU Work Plan on Sport. The Commissioner and FIFPro agreed to further deepen their cooperation via a structured dialogue on the political and administrative levels on the various sport political topics.

Photograph: EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (centre) with FIFPro Europe board member Mads Oland and secretary general Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.