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Working towards a framework for modern sports governance

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 14602 | 06 July 2018

Committee of Ministers
Adopted at the 1321st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (4 July 2018). 2018 - Fourth part-session
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 2120 (2018)
1. The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Recommendation 2120 (2018) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on “Working towards a framework for modern sports governance” and has brought it to the attention of the member States. It has also forwarded it to the Enlarged Partial Agreement of Sport (EPAS), the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG), for possible comments.
2. The Committee of Ministers recognises the importance of a consensus on the setting-up of a comprehensive framework for modern sports governance. The Council of Europe has broad expertise in the field of good governance, reflected in particular in the 12 Principles of Good Democratic Governance at local level, which could be taken into account in the codes and standards on good sports governance.
3. The Assembly refers to the work of EPAS whose agenda attaches paramount importance to the promotion of good governance in sport and the collection of data on corruption in sport, and to its contribution to the activities of the “International Partnership against Corruption in Sport” (IPACS), whose Task Force 3 it co-ordinates. It also co-ordinates an international working group tasked with drawing up guidelines for the defence of integrity in sport, as provided for in the “Kazan Action Plan”, adopted in July 2017 by the International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport. Lastly, EPAS is preparing the 15th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for sport, which will be taking place in Tbilisi on 16 October 2018 and will focus part of its debates on good governance.
4. The Committee of Ministers closely follows and welcomes the activities of EPAS. It encourages member States which are not yet members of this enlarged partial agreement to consider acceding to it. It invites EPAS to take account of the Assembly’s recommendations when drawing up the draft recommendation on good governance in sport. On the other hand, it believes that it is too early at this stage to start work on a new Council of Europe convention on good governance in sport.
5. It underlines the importance of the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on corruption which includes provisions relating to the criminalisation of corruption in the private sector, and of the work of GRECO, which monitors its implementation and also includes the governance of sport. GRECO shares its expertise within the IPACS working group and published a Summary Analysis of Selected Private Sector Bribery Cases in September 2017, highlighting some of the systemic shortfalls preventing an effective prosecution of private corruption, including in the field of sports.
6. The Committee of Ministers thanks the Assembly for its commitment to good governance in sport and encourages it to continue working to prevent corruption and to promote ethics in the governance of sport. It particularly welcomes the Parliamentary Assembly’s work to compare 15 codes and standards of good governance, which could serve as a basis for IPACS to draw up universal benchmarks. The way in which these benchmarks should be enacted and implemented by the stakeholders concerned, including via a possible ISO standard, will be addressed in this context.
7. On this basis, and drawing on its standards and networks on sport, good governance and anti-corruption, and its special co-operation with the sports movement, the Council of Europe is in an excellent position to facilitate worldwide progress in the field of good sports governance.