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In many countries across Europe there is a professional league organisation, recognised by the relevant national association, which manages certain aspects of professional football, normally the running of the national championship.

On an institutional level, UEFA and the leagues interact via the leagues' representative body, the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL). The EPFL is an association governed by Swiss law, founded in 2005 and based in Nyon, Switzerland. It traces its origins back to the 1997 founding of the EUPPFL (Association of European Union Premier Professional Football Leagues).

Originally composed of 14 members, it now comprises 32 members and associate members across Europe. Together they form a general assembly which elects a board of directors.

The EPFL and UEFA originally signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2009, under which the EPFL recognised UEFA as the governing body of football at European level, and UEFA recognised the EPFL as the association representing the interests of the European professional national football leagues. A new Memorandum of Understanding was signed by UEFA and the EPFL at the XXXVI Ordinary UEFA Congress in Istanbul on 22 March 2012.

The EPFL directly elects the four members representing European professional football leagues on the 16-member Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC). The PFSC brings together the main stakeholders in European football, i.e. UEFA, clubs, professional leagues and players, to work together to find common solutions on major topical issues affecting the game. It reports directly to the UEFA Executive Committee and exercises a major influence on its decision-making.

Proposed amendments to the UEFA Statutes were approved at the Extraordinary UEFA Congress in September 2017 that will give effect to a new Memorandum of Understanding between UEFA and the EPFL. Pending UEFA Executive Committee approval, it will aim to grant the EPFL one seat on the UEFA Executive Committee in the future.