FNASS- The French National Federation of Sports Associations and Unions -
Their objective: defend the social and moral interests of all professional athletes in France. The FNASS was created in 1992 through the initiative of several players’ unions, including football, tennis, and cycling. Alain GIRESSE was elected as the first President of the FNASS. The lack of investments and time obliged the members of the FNASS to make the association inactive until 1999.
1999: The National Collective Sports Agreement (CCNS)
On 19 July 1999 the professional football, jockey, cycling, rugby and tennis unions met to revive the FNASS. This revival of the association was marked by a significant change; passing from the status of association to that of professional athletes trade union in order to represent athletes during CCNS negotiations.
Conscious that the failure of the attempt that started in 1992 was due to the lack of means and the lack of availability of volunteers, we decided to equip ourselves with an operational facility with mandatory contributions, requests for subsidies from sports authorities as well as the will to implement exceptional actions, notably to enable us to finance jobs.
More than 10 years have passed and the fight of the FNASS has not yet come to an end. It is still just as important to fight daily so that the fundamental rights of athletes are respected.
2012: The year of change?
There is no lack of subjects common to the different players' unions. Drug use, the representativeness of unions, election of staff representatives in the clubs and the guarantee of the integrity of competitions are only some of the many subjects on which all the unions have found it important to work in common.
In light of the presidential election, the members of the FNASS worked on a white paper in order to bring athletes back to the center of the debate. It broaches all the subjects and makes 45 concrete proposals for the attention of politicians. The main ones are:
• The modification of the conditions for access to funds for vocational training.
• An in-depth reform of the system to fight against drug use
• The education of players on the risks related to online betting
• The representativeness among the authorities
2015: A new law to protect athletes
The arrival in the government of a new secretary of state for sports led to the implementation of a negotiation concerning the creation of a specific fixed term contract for professional athletes. Negotiated from the beginning by the members of the FNASS, this law of 27 November 2015 did not have the expected effects and the FNASS member unions decided in April 2016 to let their voices be heard at the European commission against this law. Currently, the discussions with the ministry of sports are complex but once again the protection of athletes is what is most important and this law, as it is, does not offer the guarantees necessary to make the social dialogue a fundamental base for professional sports in 2016.
EU Athletes is a European athletes union. It unites 35 players' associations or unions in Europe in sports that are as different as Gaelic sports, basketball, football, cycling, and cricket, among others. Created in 2007 during the rugby world cup in France with only 5 associations present, it has not ceased to grow since and to spread across Europe, now with players' associations in Finland, Sweden, and Greece.
2007: The Treaty of Lisbon and the specificity of sports
For the first time in an official Community document, the notion of the specificity of sports appears. It is because of this precise term that the players' associations decided to unite. With these simple words, the European Union provided a good deal for sports institutions (CIO, UEFA, FIFA, National and international federations) that did not want the rules of European law to apply to the sports world.
This is why the players' unions mobilised together because sports employees are and remain employees like any other.
2009: The active phase of development, partner of the European social dialogue for sports
With World Player Association, EU Athletes finds a worthy ally for the European social dialogue. By deciding to collaborate together, the two entities become responsible for the European social dialogue in the field of sports. This is a continent-wide advancement that will enable many athletes to benefit from a minimum standard in the future in terms of work relations between employers and employees.
The collaboration with UNI also made it possible for EU Athletes to benefit from financing by the European Commission for transnational projects. For 3 years now the social dialogue development project has enabled EU Athletes to meet people who develop players' associations in Europe. This project enabled traveling in the field to meet active people and provide them with assistance to get started. It also made it possible to create a guide that explains the steps to follow to create a players' association. Each year, several conferences are organised on different subjects to unite the EU Athletes association members.
2011: Collaboration with the FIFPRO (International Federation of Professional Footballers) and EGBA (European Gaming & Betting Association)
In February 2011, the rapprochement between FIFPRO and EU Athletes became effective during the SPORTPEOPLEFORUM which was held in Brussels. It enabled notably, the implementation of a joint strategy for the development of representativeness and lobbying within European institutions (Council of Europe, European Commission).
EU Athletes and EGBA also decided to collaborate for the implementation of an educational program for athletes on the risks related to betting on line. This program, which is available in 4 countries in the European Union (France, England, Germany and Spain), is intended to be developed all over Europe so that all the EU Athletes member associations can be reached. It has already received the support of many personalities who have emphasised the effectiveness of the programme.
2012: Building the future
At present, EU Athletes represents more than 35,000 athletes across Europe and the collaboration with FIFPRO helps to further establish the credibility of EU Athletes with institutions. At the last general meeting in Madrid in September 2011, the associations decided to attack 4 major subjects:
2013: the year of European projects
2013 marks the turning point in the collaboration between EU Athletes and the European institutions. By answering the request for proposals "preparatory actions in the field of sport" EU Athletes benefited from co-financing by the European Commission to successfully lead two European-wide projects: first of all, one on the preservation of the integrity of sports competitions (#PROtect Integrity), and then a second one on retraining and double careers (PDM project). For 18 months the member associations of EU Athletes, including the SNB, were able to benefit both from the communication media of the different campaigns and the training of their employees on the different subjects during conferences organised with all the associations.
2014: ERASMUS+ for the continuity of action and European Commission expert panels
After the European Commission elections, a new dynamism is being established in the sports sector. Several expert panels were created continuing in the flow of the previous ones (anti-drug use, good governance of sports organisations, double career and the economic impact of sports). EU Athletes obtained an observer's seat on each of these expert panels, and this provides a voice for European athletes among the European authorities. In addition to this lobbying, EU Athletes submitted a candidacy dossier for the ERASMUS+ program with the objective of ensuring the continuity of projects started the previous years, notably concerning the prevention of risks related to betting on sporting events (#PROtectIntegrity).
2016: the year of major challenges for athletes in Europe
Throughout the years, the European Commission has played an increasing role in the regulation of sports in Europe. 2016 was a turning point in this positioning to the extent that several dossiers are being evaluated by the European Commission's competition general management in light of unfair competition practices by several sports organisations (ISU, Euroleague, and Fiba). While waiting for the European Commission's decisions, EU Athletes is following the development of the Claudia Peichstein dossier before the German high court of justice, very closely. By itself, it can bring into question all the arbitration clauses within the national and international federations' regulations.