|Title||The EU & players’ agents: a theoretical analysis of the EU’s intervention into the regulation of players’ agents in Europe|
This research investigates the EU's intervention into the regulation of players' agents, as a policy issue, in the context of EU sports policy. A socio-cultural perspective is developed through analyzing the EU policy actors of the socio-cultural advocacy coalition (the Education and Culture DG within the Commission, the Committee on Culture and Education in the European Parliament and the Member States) operating within the EU sports policy subsystem. The research conceptualizes the socio-cultural regulation of sport as the EU policy actors’ strongly held policy core beliefs. In order to deduce policy core beliefs, there are three research dimensions examined in relation to the regulation of players' agents: coordinated activity between the actors, selective perception by policy core beliefs, and the actors' preference with regards to policy instruments to regulate players agents at European level. This research utilizes the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) as the theoretical framework. Primary documentary sources of the EU are analyzed through the method of content analysis.
The EU policy actors have gradually coordinated their activities with regards to the regulation of players’ agents. During the preparatory phase of the White Paper on Sport, there was a weak level of coordination involving interactions and information exchange. During the aftermath of the White Paper on Sport, the actors fostered a stronger coordination through developing and implementing a common plan of action. At the same time, the actors learned about the problems within the activities of players’ agents which they perceived as a threat to their policy core beliefs. As a result, the EU policy actors developed their policy position in relation to players’ agents. In this context, their policy core beliefs performed selective perception by selecting, interpreting and ignoring certain stimuli in order to support that policy position. Consequently, the EU actors agreed on the necessity of a more effective regulatory framework governing players’ agents, yet the EU’s constitutional limitations have constrained potential available options at European level, in particular the emergence of European legal initiative. The research evidences that the EU policy actors’ policy core beliefs have been the main driver for their activities, perceptions and preferences related to players agents.
|Keywords||European Union; European Union Sports Policy; Players’ Agents; Advocacy Coalition Framework; Coordinated Activity; Selective Perception.|