Following a series of meetings culminating in a recent Berlin summit, 12 countries have agreed to establish a European Esports Federation this year that will serve as a "moderating partner" rather than a governing body for the industry.
The federation members have compiled "The Berlin Declaration" that includes a collective, agreed-upon definition of what esports consist of, though a source speaking to Esports Observer says that the document hasn't yet been signed. Still, it is supported by the founding members of the federation, and reportedly states that the body will be a non-profit independent of third-parties or private entities.
The twelve countries included so far are the UK, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine. Also in attendance at the Berlin meeting were The Interactive Software Federation of Europe, the German Games Industry Association, ESL, StarLadder, and Freaks 4U Gaming.
In times like these, we feel that the idea of Europe is a fragile one," said German Esports Federation (ESBD) president Hans Jagnow, as reported by Esports Insider. "A commitment from esports is a strong sign: Europe is the future for many young people. Like no other sports movement esports profits from the freedoms the European Union provides. The Berlin Declaration puts an emphasis on that identity. Following up on the development of grassroots esports on the national level, coming together as a European federation is the next big step. As ESBD, we want Europe to become the model region for structuring esports on an international level."
Jagnow also indicated that for the time being, the European Esports Federation will avoid a connection to the International Esports Federation due to member countries France and the UK not being a part of the latter.
The next meeting will be held at the Swiss Esports Federation on May 28.