The SDEPS consortium was gathered in Cologne!

On the 29th and 30th of June 2023, a follow-up meeting of the SDEPS project was organised in Cologne with the consortium. The partners were delighted to be welcomed at the German Sports University!

EASE and EU Athletes had the pleasure to gather in Cologne and online, representatives of players unions:

  • Rugby Players Ireland, the association of Irish rugby players,
  • AIP – Associazione Italiana Pallavolisti, the Italian Association of Volleyball Players,
  • The Slovenian Athletes Union,
  • AJFS – Asociación de Jugadores de Fútbol Sala, the Spanish Association of Male Futsal Players.

As well as professional sport employers’ representatives:

  • Arbetsgivaralliansen, the Swedish Sport Employers Association,
  • The Finnish Sport Employers Association,
  • UCPHF – Union des Clubs Professionnels de Handball Féminin, the French Union of Professional Women’s Handball Clubs,
  • COSMOS, the French Sport Employers Association.



The first day was primarily dedicated to presenting the results of the mapping of social dialogue in professional sports in Europe. This whole mapping and the analytical results were produced by the researchers of the German Sports University. The methodology of this mapping was entirely explained as to how the country where chosen, the identification of a conceptual definition of Social Dialogue, the data collection process and therefore, the Social Dialogue outcomes that were registered.

All the registered outcomes are now available on our website:

A total of 40 documents were registered as Social Dialogue outcomes, across 12 European countries (plus Europe), within 8 sports, and for both male and female athletes. This study identified common and enabling factors to encourage Social Dialogue. Moreover, a systemic relationship appeared between a CBA coverage rate (related to the national Industrial Relations System) and the existence of Social Dialogue outcomes.

Thus, it closed the first phase of the project: Mapping the social dialogue outcomes in Europe.



The second day opened the last phase of the project: The creation and dissemination of guides for social dialogue in professional sports.

This meeting aimed at identifying the relevant content that should be presented in the guides, from the identification of the social partners and any other actor of Social Dialogue to the processes of Social Dialogue. The main purpose of these guides is to encourage and help the development of SD processes in professional sports in Europe. Based on specific examples of European countries where SD in professional sports has a great history (such as France, Sweden, Ireland or Spain), these guides will be drafted to encourage the development of SD agreements in new disciplines and /or new countries across Europe.

The following steps of the SDEPS project will be to draft the guides by February 2024 (with consultation moments to gather feedback) and to complete and update the database regularly.


Thank you to everyone who participated in this meeting, enabling us to have some valuable exchanges on social dialogue in professional sports in Europe!