What does the charter aim to do?

The charter provides the framework for sports policy to which all European countries have to put their name. The Code of Sports Ethics acts as a complement to it.

Governments have committed themselves to providing their citizens with opportunities to practice sport under well-defined conditions. Sport must be :

  • accessible to everybody
  • available for children and young people in particular
  • healthy and safe, fair and tolerant, building on high ethical values
  • capable of fostering personal self-fulfilment at all levels
  • respectful of the environment
  • protective of human dignity
  • against any kind of exploitation of those engaged in sport

The European Sports Charter provides guidance for the Council of Europe’s member states to perfect existing legislations or other policies and to develop a comprehensive framework for sport.



Governments have certain clear overall responsibilities in the field of sport, and the European Sports Charter has achieved three essential prerequisites:

  • to lay down stable parameters within which sports policies can develop
  • to lay down common framework and basic principles for national sports policies
  • to provide the necessary balance between governmental and non-governmental action and to ensure the complementarity of responsibilities between them.