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The Framework of EU Law and Policy and How it Applies to Sport

The scope of the EU’s influence is best understood by beginning with the separation between negative and positive law. Negative law refers to laws that prohibit particular practices—broadly, those that conflict with the objective of creating and maintaining the EU’s internal market. Most prominent among these restraints on public authorities and private actors are the rules on free movement and the competition rules. Positive law, by contrast, refers not to the role of the EU in stopping actions but rather to the EU’s own—positive—capacity to put in place its own common rules—that is, centralized EU-level law-making. The negative law provisions are deregulatory in the sense that they require that the offending actions be stopped. Positive law may be deregulatory too, in the sense that a single common EU rule typically replaces in whole or in part divergent and confusing national practices, but it is also a form of re-regulation in the sense that the matter become subject to the chosen common EU standard.

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