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 and the Anti-Doping Convention as the basis for drawing up its own strategies.
Different recommendations initially prepared by EPAS have been adopted by the Council of Europe 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. Awareness-raising and co-operation activities have been carried out on the promotion of diversity in and through sport, focusing successively on different groups (ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, women, children, etc.). Finally, Council of Europe Conferences of Ministers responsible for Sport continue to be organised regularly thanks to EPAS (Athens 2008, Baku 2010, Belgrade 2012).
In 2014, the EPAS programme of activities includes the finalising of a draft international convention to combat the manipulation of sports competitions, involving national authorities and their sectors responsible for sports, law enforcement and betting regulation. Co-operation with the European Union and the sports movement will continue with joint projects (including one on protecting the moral and physical integrity of young athletes). Activities on issues related to the migration of young athletes, vulnerable children in sport, good governance of sport and sport in prisons are on-going.
Thirty-five countries are currently members: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
One observer state: New Zealand
Twenty-nine sports organisations (including ENGSO, UEFA and the IOC) are partners of EPAS making up its Consultative Committee.