The Specificity of Sport: Sporting Exceptions in EU Law

  • R. C. R. Siekmann
Part of the ASSER International Sports Law Series book series (ASSER)


The classical and still and ever current central (legal) question in the debate on the position of sport in the European Union is whether sport is ‘special,’ whether it deserves specific treatment under European Law and to what extent and why. In other words should sport be exempted from the EC Treaty? It is the discussion on what is called in the jargon the ‘specificity of sport’ and the ‘sporting exception.’ In this article the general framework which the EU institutions developed regarding the specificity of sport, is dealt with. What are in fact the basics in this respect? Which sporting exceptions concerned have been accepted and which not and why? What is the result of a comparison of exceptions and justifications, what is the overall picture of the sport specificity practical application by the Commission as the EU day-to-day executive organ and the European Court of Justice as the EU supreme judicial organ? The cases and issues will be categorised according to whether they concern internal market freedoms (movement of workers and provision of services) or EU competition law in sport organisational matters.


Sport Organisation Lisbon Treaty Competition Rule Sport Specificity Community Court 
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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Institute and the author 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International and European Sports Law, Erasmus University RotterdamErasmus School of LawRotterdamThe Netherlands

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