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Draft Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events

Opinion 290 (2015)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 27 November 2015 (see Doc. 13913, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Valeri Jablianov).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the initiative of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in drawing up a Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events.Note
2. It unreservedly concurs with both the aims of the new convention and the multi-agency, integrated approach of the draft convention, which is actually the only approach capable of ensuring maximum effectiveness of the system for combating violence inside and outside stadiums. The Assembly believes that this reflects clear added value of the new convention compared with the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches (ETS No. 120).
3. The Assembly notes that the draft convention takes account both of the need to respect the specific features of national systems and the autonomy of the partner sports organisations and of the need to establish the regulatory framework and the mechanisms required for effective and co-ordinated action by all the stakeholders involved. It welcomes this outcome and, with regard to the substantive provisions, wishes to make only two comments:
3.1 in Article 4, it would be appropriate to highlight that the Parties shall ensure proper risk assessment, based on relevant data;
3.2 Article 7, in the second sentence, uses the modal verb “shall” in the conditional (“should”), whereas the obligation provided for in the first sentence cannot be met unless the exercises mentioned in this second sentence are initiated, supervised and certified and hence also unless an agency is clearly entrusted with the task.
4. The Assembly believes that both it and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe could make a useful contribution, once the new convention comes into force, to monitoring its implementation, in particular by taking part, without the right to vote, in the Committee on Safety and Security at Sports Events to be set up under Article 13 of the convention.
5. The Assembly believes that technical amendments in some of the final clauses would be appropriate; it refers in this context to the comments and explanations set out in the explanatory memorandum to the report by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and the Media (Doc. 13913).
6. The Assembly suggests that the new convention should explicitly refer to the threats which can originate from terrorism, thus showing that the new convention is also intended to be part of the response to these threats.
7. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers make the following amendments to the draft convention:
7.1 in the preamble, insert the following new paragraph: “Having regard to Opinion 290 (2015), adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27 November 2015”;
7.2 in Article 4, insert the following new paragraph 4.2 (or 4.4): “The Parties shall ensure that co-ordination arrangements are established to identify, analyse and evaluate the risks pertaining to safety, security and services, and to allow the sharing of updated information on risk assessment”;
7.3 in the second sentence of Article 7, replace “should” by “shall”;
7.4 at the beginning of Article 13.4, insert the following new sentence: “The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe may each appoint one representative to attend the committee’s meetings, without the right to vote”;
7.5 draft Article 16.4 as follows: “4. When depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval in accordance with the preceding paragraph, a Contracting State may declare that it will continue to apply Convention No. 120 until the entry into force of this Convention according to the provisions of Article 17.1”;
7.6 delete Article 19.2;
7.7 if deemed desirable in order to ensure continuity between Convention No. 120 and the new convention, add a new paragraph 3 to Article 17, worded as follows: “3. Following denunciation of Convention No. 120, a State may declare that the provisions of this Convention shall apply to it on a provisional basis until such time as its ratification enters into force in accordance with the provisions of Article 17.2 of this Convention”;
7.8 in the explanatory report to the draft convention, make an explicit reference to the threat of terrorism, adding a new sentence at the end of paragraph 14 as follows: “These are risks which can originate from different causes, for instance natural disasters, terrorist attacks, infrastructure failures, violence of any kind and misbehaviour”;
7.9 if applicable, make the necessary amendments to the explanatory report to the draft convention so as to reflect the amendments to the draft text.
8. Lastly, the Assembly recommends that all member States initiate as quickly as possible the necessary internal procedures for the ratification of the new convention.