On 11 May 2007, the Council of Europe adopted Resolution CM/Res(2007)8, establishing the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), in order to give fresh momentum to pan-European sports co-operation and address the current challenges facing sport in Europe – building on more than thirty years of activity in the field.
EPAS provides a platform for intergovernmental sports co-operation between the public authorities of its member states. It also encourages dialogue between public authorities, sports federations and NGOs. This contributes to better governance, with the aim of making sport healthier and fairer and ensuring that it conforms to high ethical standards.
EPAS aims to promote the development of sport in modern society, while emphasising its positive values. It develops policies and standards, monitors them and helps with capacity-building and the exchange of good practices. It uses Council of Europe sports standards such as the European Sports Charter, the Code of Sports Ethics, the European Convention on Spectator Violence, the Anti-Doping Convention and the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions as the basis for drawing up its own strategies.
One of its key recent achievements was the preparation of the new Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions which was opened for signature on 18 September 2014. Since 2015, the EPAS programme of activities has included events to further promote this new convention and prepare its implementation.
Different recommendations initially prepared by EPAS have been adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on issues of sports ethics, the autonomy of the sports movement, the fight against match-fixing and the protection of child and young athletes from dangers associated with migration. Other recommendations such as the European Sports Charter or the Recommendation on the facilities for granting of visas to sportsmen and sportswomen are regularly monitored. The new Recommendation on Gender mainstreaming in sport is the most recent and was adopted on 21 January 2015.
In the past, awareness-raising and co-operation activities have been carried out on social inclusion and the promotion of diversity in and through sport, focusing successively on different groups (ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, women, children, persons in detention, etc.). In 2016, activities will focus on newly arrived migrants and their integration via sport.
Co-operation with the European Union and the sports movement will continue in 2016 with 3 the launch of new joint projects (on the topics of match-fixing, gender equality and promoting safety and security standards at football matches). Follow-up co-operation activities with possible new projects relating to EPAS thematic priorities will continue.
Finally, Council of Europe Conferences of Ministers responsible for Sport continue to be organised regularly thanks to EPAS (Athens 2008, Baku 2010, Belgrade 2012, Macolin/Magglingen 2014) and the 14th conference will be held in Budapest on 29 November 2016.
Thirty-seven countries are currently members: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
Twenty-six sports organisations (including ENGSO, UEFA and the EOC) are partners of EPAS making up its Consultative Committee.