The International Sports Law Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 3–4, pp 119–127 | Cite as

Social Dialogue and the regulatory power of governing bodies

  • Andrea CattaneoEmail author


EU Social Dialogue is an institutionalised set of procedural arrangements that can be used to establish a supranational governance in a broad range of policy fields. Sectoral Social Dialogue constitutes a platform for European representatives on the side of employers and employees to discuss matters of common interest. Arrangements concluded in this forum may be ratified by the EU institutions and translated into binding agreements. Where these would constitute collective bargaining agreements, they would escape the application of competition law, in light of the social policy that they pursue. The supranational nature of the EU Social Dialogue makes it particularly suitable in the sporting sector. Sport is an industry regulated at transnational level, and the differences within labour disciplines in Member States prevent greater integration. In a system where private regulators set rules that have to be applied and enforced within Member States, Social Dialogue is the best possible instrument to guarantee greater representation of athletes in the governance of the system. A sectoral Social Dialogue in football has been already put in place, but, so far, it has only produced arrangement player contract minimum requirements. This paper submits that a greater use of Social Dialogue in the sporting sector would enhance the participation of stakeholders in the setting of rules that regulate their conducts. In turn, these could find greater legitimacy if agreed in the forum and this would entail greater compliance with them and a reduction of challenges under EU competition law.


Social Dialogue Employment relationship Sports governing bodies Antitrust Co-regulation Stakeholders 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Instituut 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lecturer in LawDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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