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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Play the Game 2017: EPAS gets involved

Eindhoven, Netherlands 26-30 November 2017
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Play the Game 2017: EPAS gets involved

The Council of Europe’s Director General of Democracy, Snežana Samardžić-Marković, delivered an opening speech on Sunday 26 November on the first day of the Play the Game conference - “Riding waves of change”.

EPAS was an active partner in this conference, supporting plenary sessions on topics such as “Sexual abuse and how to prevent it”, “Reform in sport: An inside job or an outside intervention?”, and “Sports governance: Roads to government action”. 

The conference gathered around 400 journalists, scientists and sport officials on the 26-30th November in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

In addition to the packed programme over the five days, EPAS held restricted meetings on 28 November with its Governing Board and Consultative Committee members to discuss two draft recommendations of the Committee of Ministers:

  • Draft Recommendation on Martial Arts and Combat Activities (14h15-16h00)
  • Draft Recommendation on the promotion of good governance in sport (19h30-21h00)

The working documents for these two closed sessions are available on the EPAS restricted website.

Link to the Play the Game 2017 website

Speech by Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy


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”.