ERASMUS+ Understanding, Evaluating, and Improving Good Governance

Understanding, Evaluating, and Improving Good Governance in the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports in Europe

Head of Project
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag

Project Coordinator
Maximilian Seltmann M.A.

IESF Project staff
Lorenz Fiege M.A.

Period of Research
January 2021 – December 2022

Project Funding
European Commission Erasmus+ Sport, ERASMUS+ Project 622796-EPP-1-2020-1-DE-SPO-SCP

About the EMPLOYS Project

Project Description

Project Description

This collaborative partnership aims at improving good governance in the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports by providing, evaluating and sharing evidence based information, practices and recommendations in an important, yet largely neglected, subdomain of sport and governance.The project team, consisting of five academic partners and two practice-oriented partners, both umbrella organisations representing essential parts of the sports sector in this certain field, will provide evidence based policy recommendations for sport governing bodies from the local to the global level as well as for national public authorities and EU institutions.

The project is structured around three specific goals, all of which are attained through different phases and methodologies. These goals are:

  1. Understanding - establishing an evidence base of the legal and socio-political landscape defining the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports in 29 European countries and the European Union;
  2. Evaluating - assessing the current practice across the continent;
  3. Improving - formulating and implementing concrete policy recommendations for key stakeholders.

Building on a rigorous and participatory methodology, the expertise and unique network of the project team, this collaborative partnership will inform substantial and sustainable policy change on all levels of governance. The results empower athletes for a secure and successful career in sport and beyond.

Project Partners

Project Partners

Project partners (academic)

Partner (stakeholder representation)

Project Outputs

Interim Fact Report: Understanding the Employment Relations of...

Interim Fact Report: Understanding the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports in Europe

This Interim Fact Report provides a ground-breaking and comparative analysis of the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports in 29 European countries. On the basis of national expert reports in the 27 EU member states, the United Kingdom and Norway, a comprehensive analysis of the legal and socio-political landscape of the situation of elite athletes is carried out. The rich data and the comparative design provide an initial understanding of the complex topic of athlete employment relations. Some analytical conclusions with regards to the influence of national settings, with their respective sport as well as labour and welfare systems, change dynamics and potential ways for institutional reforms are derived from the key findings.

Version 1.1 (April 2022, official publication): Download the study

Version 1.0 (December 2021): Download the study

 

Evaluation Report: Good Governance in the Employment Relations of...

Evaluation Report: Good Governance in the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports in Europe

The second project output, the Evaluation Report, establishes a definition of good governance in the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports. The study consists of a normative-ethical concept of athlete employment relations rights. Against the theoretical concept, 27 principles of good governance are formualted as athlete rights. Good governance in athlete employment relations is understood as the fulfillment of these rights. All project partners equally contributed to this study. Stakeholders from sport governance and the political institutions are asked to provide feedback on the 27 principles via a stakeholder survey.

Download the report

 

Past and Future Multiplier Sport Events (MSE)

MSE1: 22 October 2021, Cologne

MSE1: 22 October 2021, Cologne

Understanding the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports in Europe: Results of an EU-wide study

At this first event, the results of our European study will be presented. This study (Fact Report) provides an initial and ground-breaking understanding of the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports in 29 European countries. The event will host stakeholders from Germany as well as from the trans- and international level of sport governance and labour regulation, including:

  • International Olympic Committee
  • European Olympic Committees
  • German Olympic Sport Confederation
  • German Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • Luxembourg Ministry of Sport
  • International Labour Organization
  • Council of Europe
  • EU Athletes
  • Athleten Deutschland

Programme

A report of the conference published by the Deutschlandfunk can be found here.

MSE2: 17 December 2021, Lisbon

MSE2: 17 December 2021, Lisbon

Understanding the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports in Europe: Results of an EU-wide study

At this event, the results of our European study will be presented. This study provides an initial and ground-breaking understanding of the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports in 29 European countries. The event will bring together stakeholders from sport organisations from many different countries, with a focus on southern and central Europe, policy makers from different institutions and internationally renowned academics.

 

Programme

 

 

MSE3: 16 March 2022, Edge Hill University

MSE3: 16 March 2022, Edge Hill University

Defining Good Governance in the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports: Open Forum

At this event, which took the form of an open forum for discussion, the project team presented its draft principles for good governance in the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports. The event fostered debate about what constitutes good governance in the employment relations of athletes and brought together stakeholders and experts from the northern European region and the EU and transnational level of sport governance and public administration. The findings of the first project phase, published in the Fact Report, served as the basis for the discussion about future directions and actions to improve good governance in athlete relations on a national, transnational and EU level.

Download the programme.

MSE4: 13 May 2022, Rijeka

MSE4: 13 May 2022, Rijeka

Defining Good Governance in the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports: Open Forum

The aim of this event was to widen and deepen the ongoing debate about what constitutes good governance in athlete relations. The project team presented its interim findings as well as the draft concept and principles of good governance. A keynote and two panel debates engaged in an open discussion about the current state of athlete relations in south-eastern European countries, good practice and shortcomings, as well as potentials for improvement.

Speakers include:

  • Blanka Vlašić (EOC Athletes' Commission)
  • Zoran Primorac (ITTF Athletes' Commission & Croatian Olympians Club)
  • Kaveh Mehrabi (IOC Athletes' Department)
  • Caradh O'Donovan (Global Athlete)
  • Raša Sraka Vuković & Petra Robnik (Slovenian NOC Athletes' Commission & Athletes Career Center)
  • Walter Palmer (Centre for Sport and Human Rights)
  • Biserka Vrbek (Croatian Olympic Committee)
  • Krešimir Šamija (Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sport)
  • Miloš Milenković (Serbian Olympic Committee)
  • Borut Kolarič (Slovenian Olympic Committee)
  • Rožle Prezelj (Government of Slovenia)

Programme

MSE5: 17 June 2022 and 20 September 2022, Warsaw

MSE5: 17 June 2022 and 20 September 2022, Warsaw

Good Governance in the Employment Relations of Athletes in Olympic Sports in Europe

Part 1: 17 June 2022: This MSE5 was hosted by the Institute for Sport Governance in Warsaw (Poland). The project team presented their current findings on the evaluation of good governance in the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports in Europe.

The focus of the event and its two panel debates was on two dimensions of employment relations: income and commercial opportunities, particularly in the context of Eastern Europe.

Programme

Part 2: 20 September 2022: As the second part of this Multipler Sport Event, a specific student seminar was hosted at the Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw. The project team invited students and elite athletes to discuss the current findings and potential solutions for the future of elite sport governance in Poland.

MSE6 Final Event: 6 December 2022, Brussels

MSE6 Final Event: 6 December 2022, Brussels

The Future of Athletes’ Employment Relations in Olympic Sports: Results and Recommendations from a Good Governance Perspective

At this event, the project team will present its Final Report which proposes evidence-based recommendations for policy change to improve good governance in the employment relations of athletes in Olympic sports in Europe. The event will take place in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. Further information, including the programme, will be published soon.

News and Dissemination

Newspaper of Rijeka "Novi List" (in Croatian)

Newspaper of Rijeka "Novi List" (in Croatian)

About the introduction of the EMPLOYS project: to the article(2021-06-18)

Radio Station Deutschlandfunk (in German)

Radio Station Deutschlandfunk (in German)

About the MSE1: to the radio report

European Olympic Committees (in English)

European Olympic Committees (in English)

European Olympic Academies Annual Report 2021 (in English)

European Olympic Academies Annual Report 2021 (in English)

To the article

“There is a consensus but tensions prevail.” Takeaways from the...

“There is a consensus but tensions prevail.” Takeaways from the EMPLOYS conference in Rijeka

Read the summary of the conference, written by the European Olympic Academies, here.

Video Report Kanal Ri (Croatian)

Video Report Kanal Ri (Croatian)

See the report of the Croatian National TV Kanal Ri here.