Strasbourg, 11.02.2021 – The 16th Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport of the Council of Europe, organised in line with the activities of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), today has adopted two resolutions :
1) A European approach to sport policies: the revision of the European Sports Charter
The Ministers stressed that the revised text should facilitate access to sports for all layers of society, inter alia through investing in infrastructures for the practice of physical activity at the grassroots level, both inside and outside school settings. They also encouraged member States to develop national sports strategies, as well as exchange best practices and experiences.
2) Human rights in sport
Considering the importance of a human rights-based approach while addressing sport integrity issues such as safety, security and service at sports events, combatting doping and the manipulation of sports competitions, the Ministers encouraged member States to further enhance the protection and promotion of human rights in this field, as well as to promote sport and its many social and individual benefits to strengthen society’s resilience to global crises.
The session has been chaired by Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport, Greece. Closing speeches have been delivered by Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni and Niels Nygaard, Acting President of the European Olympic Committees.
The next Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport will take place in Turkey (date to be confirmed).
Speech by Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport, Greece (in Greek)
Speech by Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni
Speech by Niels Nygaard, Acting President of the European Olympic Committees
Background info for the media
European Sports Charter
The European Sports Charter, continental pioneering reference point for the development of sport policies, provides normative guidance in the field since its adoption in 1992 with the latest update in 2001 (the Code of Sports Ethics acts as a complement to it). Since then, sport has changed substantially and therefore the need for a revision.
Human rights in sport
The Ministerial Conference discussed the role and application of human rights in sports in light of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the work of Council of Europe specialised bodies. It also considered how leaders of the sport movement could be made aware of human rights and how sports policies could integrate these issues. These debates were illustrated by examples such as the right to a fair trial in disciplinary proceedings, the right to physical integrity of children and the protection of economic and social rights in sport.
The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) was created in 2007 to meet the challenges facing sport today in Europe. It serves as a platform for the public authorities of 40 member States, fostering dialogue between ministers, sports federations and NGOs and ensuring compliance with ethical and positive values. Twenty-five sports organisations (including ENGSO, UEFA and the EOC) are partners of EPAS making up its Consultative Committee. Previous Council of Europe Conferences of Ministers responsible for Sport organised by EPAS: Athens 2008, Baku 2010, Belgrade 2012, Macolin /Magglingen 2014, Budapest 2016 and Tbilisi in 2018.
Council of Europe Conventions in the field of sport:
– Anti-Doping Convention (CETS No. 135)
– Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (CETS No. 215)
– Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events (CETS No. 218)
The Council of Europe has established co-operation with key stakeholders in the field of sport and the sport movement. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been concluded with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in November 2016. A MoU has been signed in Strasbourg with UEFA and with FIFA (Memorandum of Understanding) in 2018.