UEFA president Michel Platini met today with the new European commissioner responsible for sport, Androulla Vassiliou, in Brussels.
This first meeting between Michel Platini and Androulla Vassiliou provided the UEFA president with an opportunity to bring the issues currently affecting European sport and football to the European Commission's attention.
The UEFA president and the European commissioner had a positive and open exchange of views on various topics including financial fair play, betting, the protection of club academies and training, player agents, and the fight against violence. It was clear from today's talks that the two organisations shared a lot of common ground in these areas.
At the meeting Michel Platini emphasised the importance of safeguarding the central role of European sports federations in the European sports model. He was also happy to note that the specificity of sport was now recognised in the Lisbon Treaty and promised UEFA would play its part in helping to bring article 165 to life.
The UEFA president also introduced Androulla Vassiliou to UEFA's financial fair play concept, an initiative spearheaded by Michel Platini and under the control of former Belgian prime minister and current member of the European Parliament, Jean-Luc Dehaene. Both parties agreed that tackling the issue of club finances was vital.
Michel Platini said: "I was very pleased to meet commissioner Vassiliou and have the opportunity to discuss the concerns of European football with her. The meeting took place in an excellent atmosphere and I am sure that our future cooperation will be fruitful.
"I was also interested to hear commissioner Vassiliou's views on sport furthering social inclusion and health. The European Commission can count on UEFA's support."
European commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, Androulla Vassiliou said: "The European Commission welcomes UEFA's focus on tackling the problem of debt in European football and financial fair play. The Commission is committed to an inclusive approach on governance and to championing the social role of sport to promote a healthy lifestyle and to fight racism and social exclusion.
"UEFA is a privileged partner in the EU's dialogue on sport. The European Commission and UEFA have worked together very closely to promote European sport and I am confident that we will continue to do so."
The meeting was followed by a joint press conference at the European Commission HQ, introducing the findings of a Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity.