Strasbourg, 04.11.2020 – Sport is an important fact of today’s life. Sports’ governance is at stake facing many challenges in a world that is rapidly changing ant it can also, if unchecked, lead to human rights issues. Sports’ practice is a human right and a goal shared by all governments.
The 16th Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport of the Council of Europe, organised in the framework of the Greek Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, will focus on these topics with the revision of the European Sports Charter and a specific highlight on Human Rights in Sport. It consists of five different sessions spread out over a period of several weeks (see agenda), in line with the activities of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS).
The introductory session (open to the press – November 5th at 10-11 a.m. CET) will start with a Leadership Dialogue (“Championing values in sport”) moderated by Council of Europe Director General of Democracy, Snežana Samardžić-Marković. Lefteris Avgenakis (Deputy Minister of Sport, Greece), Roxana Maracineanu (Minister of Sport, France), Irene Lozano Domingo (President of the High Council of Sport and State Secretary, Spain), Christophe De Kepper (International Olympic Committee Director General), Alexandra Shelton (Olympic fencer) and Bobby Barnes (President of FIFPro Europe) will take part in the debate.
Video messages from Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić and Prime Minister of Greece,
Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be broadcasted at the beginning of the conference.
Theme 1 – a European approach to sport policies: the revision of the European Sports Charter (November 5th)
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.
Theme 2: Human rights in sport (December 7th)
The Ministerial Conference will discuss 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 will also consider how leaders of the sport movement could be made aware of human rights and how sports policies could integrate these issues. These debates will be 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 Ministerial Round Table will take place on 15th January 2021. The closing session is planned for the end of January 2021, with speeches by Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni; Niels Nygaard, Acting President of the European Olympic Committees and Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister of Sport, Greece.
The adoption of the final resolution will follow.
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 39 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)
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.