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 more ethical, more inclusive and safer.

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Key decisions: Governing Board and Consultative Committee hold annual meetings

Strasbourg, France 14-15 May 2018
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Bureau of the Consultative Committee (L-R) : Jens Sejer Andersen, Annette Wachter, Laura Capranica, Michal Buchel, Carlos Cardoso (absent: Paulina Tomczyk)

Bureau of the Consultative Committee (L-R) : Jens Sejer Andersen, Annette Wachter, Laura Capranica, Michal Buchel, Carlos Cardoso (absent: Paulina Tomczyk)

On 14-15 May, the two EPAS committees held their annual meetings in Strasbourg, and over the two days they discussed a variety of topics and made some key decisions:

Consultative Committee elected a newly composed Bureau for a mandate of two years

In a series of contested elections, the EPAS Consultative Committee re-composed its Bureau by admitting two new members: ENGSO (European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation) represented by its President Carlos Cardoso, and EAS (European Athlete Student Network) represented by President Laura Capranica. The Secretary General of EU Athletes, Paulina Tomczyk, was re-elected, as was Co-President of EGSLF (European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation), Annette Wachter.

The committee also re-elected its Chair and Vice-Chair, Jens Sejer Andersen, International Director at Play the Game, and Michal Buchel, CEO of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS).

Train strikes in France and other logistic complications reduced the number of organisations around the table to 12 out of the 25 possible members, but two had given a vote by proxy.

“We could surely wish for a stronger presence at our meetings, but on the other hand the contested elections and the intense debate showed a great engagement in Council of Europe policies among those who were present,” said the Chair, Jens Sejer Andersen.

“There was a strong backing for EPAS to continue its efforts to fight corruption and abuse in sport in various areas, such as the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) and UNESCO’s Kazan Action Plan. The members really wish to be involved in these efforts, and their concerns are mainly related to the inclusiveness and efficiency of the processes that EPAS is engaged in.”

Governing Board elected two new members of its Bureau

Elections were held to fill two vacant positions in the Bureau: the experts representing France (Madeleine Delaperriere) and Bulgaria (Viktoria Racheva-Slavkova) were both elected by acclamation. The next meeting of the Governing Board Bureau is scheduled to take place in early September 2018.

Priority theme for 2019 chosen

Discussions were held to decide on a theme for EPAS to work on in 2019, in the framework of its activities aimed at promoting diversity and fighting against discrimination. The theme finally chosen is gender mainstreaming in sport, with focus on the sexual violence dimension linked to the #metoo campaign.

The next joint plenary meeting between the Governing Board and the Consultative Committee will take place in June 2019.

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 exchange of good practices.

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, and the protection of young athletes from dangers associated with migration. Older recommendations such as the European Sports Charter are regularly monitored via consultative visits in member states. The Recommendation on Gender mainstreaming in sport is the most recent and was adopted on 21 January 2015. Work is currently underway to revise an old recommendation on “free fighting contests, such as cage fighting”.