As a major component of civil society with values such as respect, team spirit, compliance with rules and fair play, sport is an excellent tool to promote the Council of Europe’s core values.

At the same time, sport itself should comply with the rule of law and democratic governance and respect fundamental rights. The Council of Europe’s sport programme strives to both promote its values “through” sport and defend these values “in” sport.

To do this, the sport sector of the Council of Europe works on the basis of a two-fold strategy:

Standard-setting and monitoring

The Sport Conventions Division oversees all the standard-setting and monitoring activities linked to Council of Europe conventions in the field of sport: Anti-Doping Convention and Spectator Violence Convention. These activities can be supplemented by joint projects related to the conventions themselves.

In the 2018-2019 biennium, the priorities of the Sport Conventions Division will be the entry into force of the two newest conventions (Manipulation of sports competitions and Stadium security) and the enhancement of the role of public authorities in the worldwide fight against doping.

 A platform for co-operation

The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) provides a platform for intergovernmental sports co-operation between the public authorities of its 38 member states. It also encourages dialogue between public authorities, sports federations and NGOs. This contributes to better governance, with the aim of making sport more ethical, more inclusive and safer.  EPAS aims to promote the development of any sport whose benefits are wide-reaching. It develops policies and standards, monitors them and helps with capacity-building and the sharing of good practices. Similarly to the conventions, EPAS runs joint projects on priority themes and is itself a partner in projects implemented by other organisations.

In the 2018-2019 biennium, the enforcement of good governance principles in sport - including gender equality in sport - and the fight against corruption will be a key priority for EPAS. It also organises Ministerial meetings, held on a regular basis, which provide the whole programme with political backing and strategic guidance. The next one will take place in 2018 in Georgia.