Sports law experts from Edge Hill University have helped shape the future of European sport by giving crucial evidence to the European Parliament Culture Committee.

Professor Richard Parrish, Director of the University’s Centre for Sports Law Research, and colleague Samuli Miettinen, a Senior Lecturer in Law, were invited to Brussels to deliver their report on the Lisbon Treaty to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

The Lisbon Treaty provides the European Union with new powers over sport and the European Parliament commissioned the report in order to assess the scope of these new powers.

“It is a major achievement for Edge Hill University to be asked to present evidence to a parliamentary committee of such importance”, said Professor Parrish. “The MEPs were particularly keen to establish whether the new powers would allow them to regulate some very sensitive areas of the professional sports market, such as players’ agents, the financial management of sport and the protection of young players. Whilst our report urged some caution in these areas, it did suggest that the EU could enhance its role in health promotion, social inclusion and volunteering. The report also stressed the important role the EU has to play in fostering co-operation between the bodies responsible for sport.

“Despite intensive questioning, I’m pleased that members listened to what we had to say and that Edge Hill University is playing a pivotal role in this historic process in shaping the future of sports legislation in the EU.”

The committee will now use the report to inform MEPs in preparation for a vote on the European Commission’s sports programme, which is due to be put before Parliament in November. As part of this process, Professor Parrish sat on the Commission’s advisory panel of Independent Sports Experts.