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Summary

Union Royale Belge des Socits de Football Association ASBL v Jean-Marc


Bosman (1995) C-415/93 (known as the Bosman ruling) is a 1995 European Court
of Justice decision concerning freedom of movement for workers, freedom of
association, and direct effect of article 39 (formerly 48) of the EEC Treaty. The
case was an important decision on the free movement of labour and had a
profound effect on the transfers of football players within the European Union
(EU).
The decision banned restrictions on foreign EU players within national leagues
and allowed players in the EU to move to another club at the end of a contract
without a transfer fee being paid.
The ruling was made in a consolidation of three separate legal cases, all involving
Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman:
1. Belgian Football Association v Jean-Marc Bosman
2. R.F.C. de Lige v Jean-Marc Bosman and others
3. UEFA v Jean-Marc Bosman
Jean-Marc Bosman was a player for RFC Lige in the Belgian First Division in
Belgium whose contract had expired in 1990. He wanted to change teams and
move to Dunkerque, a French team. However, Dunkerque refused to meet his
Belgian club's transfer fee demand, so Lige refused to let him go
Rulling
1. Article 48 of the EEC Treaty precludes the application of rules laid down by
sporting associations, under which a professional footballer who is a national of
one Member State may not, on the expiration of his contract with a club, be
employed by a club of another Member State unless the latter club has paid to
the former club a transfer, training or development fee.
2. Article 48 of the EEC Treaty precludes the application of rules laid down by
sporting associations under which, in matches in competitions which they
organize, football clubs may field only a limited number of professional players
who are nationals of other Member States.
3. The direct effect of Article 48 of the EEC Treaty cannot be relied upon in
support of claims relating to a fee in respect of transfer, training or development
which has already been paid on, or is still payable under an obligation which
arose before, the date of this judgment, except by those who have brought court
proceedings or raised an equivalent claim under the applicable national law
before that date.
Significance
Prior to the Bosman rulling, professional clubs in some parts of Europe (but not,
for example, in Spain and France) were able to prevent players from joining a
club in another country even if their contracts had expired. In the United
Kingdom, Transfer Tribunals had been in place since 1981 to resolve disputes
over fees between clubs when transferring players at the end of their contracts.
The Bosman ruling meant that players could move to a new club at the end of

their contract without their old club receiving a fee. Players can now agree a precontract with another club for a free transfer if the players' contract with their
existing club has six months or less remaining.
The Bosman ruling also prohibited domestic football leagues in EU member
states, and also UEFA, from imposing quotas on foreign players to the extent that
they discriminated against nationals of EU states. At that time, many leagues
placed quotas restricting the number of non-nationals allowed on member teams.
Also, UEFA had a rule that prohibited teams in its competitions, namely the
Champions League, Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup, from naming more than
three "foreign" players in their squads for any game. After the ruling, quotas
could still be imposed, but could only be used to restrict the number of non-EU
players on each team.

1.

Which are the features of preliminary ruling?

2.

Which are the four freedoms of the European Union?

The four Freedoms is a common term that is used for a set of Treaty provisions:

The free movement of goods

The free movement of services and freedom of establishment

The free movement of persons (and citizenship), including free movement of workers

The free movement of capital

3.

What does free movement of workers among the member


states mean?

The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to European


Union (EU) citizens by the Treaties. It is realised through the area of freedom,
security and justice without internal borders. Lifting internal borders requires
strengthened management of the Unions external borders as well as
regulated entry and residence of non-EU nationals, including through a
common asylum and immigration policy.
The concept of free movement of persons came about with the signing of the
Schengen Agreement in 1985 and the subsequent Schengen Convention in
1990, which initiated the abolition of border controls between participating
countries. Being part of the EU legal and institutional framework, Schengen
cooperation has gradually been extended to include most EU Member States
as well as some non-EU.
Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined
in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and
developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of
Justice. EU citizens are entitled to:

look for a job in another EU country


work there without needing a work permit

reside there for that purpose


stay there even after employment has finished
enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working
conditions and all other social and tax advantages

EU nationals may also have certain types of health & social security coverage
transferred to the country in which they go to seek work.
Free movement of workers also applies, in general terms, to the countries in
the European Economic Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
People working in some occupations may also be able to have their
professional qualifications recognised abroad (see mutual recognition of
professional qualifications).
EU social security coordination provides rules to protect the rights of people
moving within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.