Events of major importance: key rulings by General Court

posted on 17 February, 2011   (public)

On 17 February 2011, the General Court delivered two long-awaited rulings in cases T-385/07, T-55/08 and T-68/08 (FIFA and UEFA v Commission) which dealt with the UK and Belgian lists of events of major importance for society.

The Court confirmed that Member States had a wide margin of discretion to decide which sporting event is of major importance for its own society and should thus be made available to the public on free-to-air television.

FIFA and UEFA had sought the annulment before the Court of First Instance of the decision of the Commission approving the national lists submitted by Belgium and the UK specifying the events to which the public should be able to have access on free television. The Court held that the qualification by Belgium of the whole final tournament of the World Cup and by UK of all EURO matches as an event of major importance for society may be compatible with the AVMS Directive.

See also the Press release from the Court

Source: CURIA website