FACTBOX-Timeline of EU white paper on sport

(Reuters) - The European Commission published a strategy document on Wednesday, called a White Paper, on how sport should be run across the 27-nation European Union.

The issues covered range from soccer agents, security, club ownership and labour laws to financing of sport and drugs abuse.

Following is a chronology of the process:

December 8, 2005 - A review into sport is launched under British Presidency of the EU at a meeting in Leipzig. The meeting is attended by FIFA, UEFA, the European Commission and chaired by British sports minister Richard Caborn.

January 31, 2006 - Caborn meets EU sports Commissioner Jan Figel and then UEFA CEO Lars-Christer Olsson to outline the priorities of the review. They decide that the head of the review should be independent and come from outside sport.

February 7 - Former Portuguese deputy prime minister Jose Luis Arnaut appointed to oversee the review. He was deputy prime minister and minister for sport under current EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso -- the then Portuguese prime minister.

February 22 - Fans and stakeholders are asked to post their views on the review’s Web site.

February 28 - Arnaut invites G14, representing 18 of the world’s richest clubs, to participate in the review, despite it being involved in two court cases with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, over player compensation.

March 29 - Stakeholders and fans attend public hearing in Brussels.

May 3 - European Parliament holds hearing into sport. This is the first time that UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, and the G14 meet in public.

May 23 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso receive first draft of the review.

September 29 - FIFA and International Olympic Committee (IOC) send a letter to 25 EU sports ministers and the Commission saying they do not support the review.

On the same day, UEFA announce that the review will be redrafted with the exclusion of salary caps which will be replaced by “cost controls”.

October 19 - UEFA President Lennart Johansson backs the report in his re-election manifesto.

October 30 - New draft of review is published.

November 22 - EU Commission gives green light to draft a white paper on sport.

November 27/28 - Meeting of EU sports Ministers to discuss the review.

December 14/15 - EU heads of state to rubber-stamp review and give the go-ahead for full white paper.

Jan/Feb, 2007 - Commission enter talks to complete the draft paper.

March 11/12, 2007 - Sports ministers discuss draft paper under the German presidency of the EU.

June 5, 2007 - Final series of meetings between the Commission, ministers, members of the European Parliament and stakeholders take place over two weeks.

July 11 2007 - Final version of the white paper to be published under the Portuguese presidency of the EU.

Nov 2007 - High level meeting of sports organisations, ministers and police forces hosted by the European Commission to agree final security plan for sport. This will be included within the parametres of the white paper.

Late 2007 - Legislation will be sent to the European Council and the European Parliament. These bodies will then issue resolutions, spending programmes etc.

Early 2008 - Final adoption of legislation on sport under Slovenian presidency of the EU.

For a related factbox on the EU sports white paper click on