EASE stands for European Association of Sport Employers. It is a European not-for-profit organisation and an independent membership association of national sport and active leisure employer organisations wishing to promote social dialogue. The aims of EASE are to promote and develop sport employers representativeness in Europe and to negotiate at European level on behalf of sports employers in sports.
The social dialogue is an essential element of the good governance in the sport sector. An increased participation of national and European sport federations and professional leagues would bring benefits to employees and employers alike.
Research on information about Social Dialogue in Europe learned that only three countries had experience on negotiations of a National Collective Agreement (France, Sweden and The Netherlands). EASE was then founded in 2003 by four organisations from England, France, Sweden and The Netherlands. The main purpose of EASE is to provide a platform for further European cooperation and development on the subject of labour relations for the sports sector and encouragement of developments on a European Social Dialogue. The first issue is to build a unique sectoral social dialogue committee for all sports.
At European level, sport and active leisure should be regarded as one sector or branch gathering with three sub-sectors (not-for-profit sport, professional sport and active leisure). The sport and active leisure sector, as generally defined in the EU Member States, embraces a number of enterprises covered by the European Communities’ Nomenclature of Activities (NACE). The NACE defines the sector under the headings « Sports and recreation education » and « Sports activities », under the codes 85.51 and 93.1.
Today, employers do have their say in the sport sector at the European level through EASE and have an important part to play in the building of an effective employer network across the European Union.