Following the Court’s own principle that the Treaties cannot be strictly interpreted but taking into account the state of integration and its objectives, it has enabled the Community to expand its competences. It is noteworthy that the Treaties as well as secondary EU legislation has been amended to incorporate ECJ’s rulings. The present case is not an exception, but another example of the ECJ interference in member states legal systems, and overriding national rules.
Originally, the EU had no role un sporting affairs, and there was no need for it. However, the Lisbon Treaty has given the EU a new competence on sport. Sport is one of the areas where the Member States should have exclusive competence but the Union supposedly provides support or co-ordination. The EU has now competence for co-ordinating sports policies.
Yesterday (27 January), the European Commission sent a "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure, requesting the UK “to put an end to discriminatory legislation (The Race Relations Act) allowing for differential pay of non-UK seafarers linked directly and indirectly to their nationality.”