Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS)

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Programme of activities


The EPAS Programme of Activities for 2014 covers a variety of issues in the field of sport, including :

Manipulation of sports competitions
After having initiated its work in October 2012 on drafting a new international convention against the manipulation of sports competitions, the Drafting Group finalised its text at its 6th plenary meeting on 21 and 22 January 2014. The Group was composed of 51 delegations (including national experts from sports, betting regulatory and law enforcement authorities) and was advised along the way by representatives of the sports movement, betting operators and lotteries. The draft convention then continued its journey through the various bodies of the Council of Europe, the aim being its adoption by the Committee of Ministers.

• Parliamentary Assembly gave its opinion on the Convention via a report to the Committee of Ministers in Spring 2014;
• The Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group (GR-C) met with a view to approving the Convention in early Summer 2014;
• Ministers’ Deputies adopted the Convention before the 2014 Summer break;
• The Convention was opened for signature at the 13th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport in Magglingen, Switzerland, on 18 September 2014.

Corruption in the governance of sport
On 18 September 2014, Switzerland hosted the 13th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport (MSL13) at Macolin/Magglingen, where the headquarters of the Swiss Federal Office of Sport are situated.

Corruption in the governance of sport was the main theme of the conference, with Ministers discussing why this should be an issue for governments and whether or not there are gaps in the current national and international legal provisions which prevent corruption in sport being properly addressed.

In parallel, EPAS is also partner with the IDHEAP (Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration) on a Good Governance project in the framework of a PhD thesis by Mr Michael Mrkonjic. The objective of the project is to try to apply good governance indicators in approximately five countries for public authorities in charge of sport and sports organisations. The basic indicators are being developed by the PhD student and they will be used to assess the situation in different European countries. As a partner in this project, EPAS has set up an Accompanying Group of Experts to advise on the work of this study on Good Governance Indicators.

The outcome of this study is expected to reflect not only a governmental input on good governance in sport, but a consolidated approach taking into account both the governmental and non-governmental backgrounds.

Gender mainstreaming in sport
Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making.

The EPAS Governing Board has recently approved a Recommendation to member states on Gender mainstreaming in sport. This recommendation was drafted by a small group composed of experts from governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the sports domain. This forthcoming Recommendation calls on governments to promote and encourage policies specifically aimed at implementing gender mainstreaming in all areas and at all levels of sport, with a view to achieving substantive gender equality in sport. It will be presented to the Ministers’ Deputies for possible adoption in January 2015.

Sport in Prisons
Since 2007, EPAS has carried out a range of different activities, organising political conferences, training events and awareness-raising activities on various issues relating to the promotion of diversity in sport.

In 2014, EPAS decided to focus on using sport to promote social cohesion for different target groups such as prisoners.

As background preparation on this topic, and in co-operation with the Council for Penological Co-operation (PC-CP), EPAS successfully organised an expert seminar on “sport in European prisons” on 5 March 2013 in Strasbourg. The expert seminar showed that sport is as a useful and meaningful element in prison (health, social skills and collective expression of prisoners, etc.) and can also contribute to the preparation of prisoners for release and facilitate their reintegration. Sport can have a positive impact on prisoners, allowing them to work on their behaviour, disposition/character, ability to work and live together, respect others including opponents, respect the rules, etc.

EPAS has therefore designed a questionnaire to collect good practice examples of sport programmes in prisons across Europe and has been disseminated to the penitentiary network of PC-CP. The results of the questionnaire will feed into a future publication on Sport in European prisons which will be comprised of a collection of relevant good practice examples on how to make good use of sport in prisons and how sport can prepare prisoners for their life afterwards. The EPAS political conference on this subject took place in Paris on 16-17 June 2014, in co-operation with the CNOSF (French National Olympic and Sports Committee).

Co-operation with the European Union and the sports movement
EPAS co-ordinates with the European Union to prevent any overlap and avoid duplication of activities. Co-operation with the EU and the sports movement will continue in 2014, in particular with a joint project on protecting the moral and physical integrity of young athletes, which will run from 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2015 (see the website Pro Safe Sport). In 2014, co-operation will also continue in the field of gender equality and further co-operation with the EU will be explored regarding a possible European week of sport, and on the issue of match-fixing.