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Council of Europe and Sport

Sport can be seen to show universal human values, which at major sports events, are understood and shared by all.


Having realised this, the Council of Europe policy is to "promote sport and the social and health benefits which it brings to individuals and to society, thanks to the policies based on the same principles across Europe".

In the Council of Europe, the Sport Department co-operates with governmental and non-governmental organisations and carries out initiatives, which both benefit the practice of sport and make it accessible across Europe.

New framework for sport in the Council of Europe

At the Sport Ministers meeting in Moscow November 2006 a new framework for the work in the field of sport was approved. The framework is called the “Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport – EPAS. The content of the EPAS are to be developed during 2007 and will be the basis of the Council of  Europe’s involvement in sport. It is foreseen that both member states and NGO’s will be partners within the EPAS framework.

Short History of the Council of Europe’s involvement in Sport.

The “European Sport for All Charter” was launched in 1975 by the European Sports Ministers. It was officially adopted on 24th September 1976. From that date, sport policies in Europe were endowed with a common programme based on the conviction that the values of sport would contribute to the fulfilment of the ideals of the Council of Europe .

Building upon the principles of the “European Sport for All Charter”, the European Sport Charter was adopted in 1992 and revised in 2001 in order to provide a common set of principles for all Europe. 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 the Charter. It is based on the principle that “ethical considerations leading to fair play are integral, and not optional elements, of all sports activity, sports policy and management, and apply to all levels of ability and commitment, including recreational as well as competitive sport”.

In these documents, governments have committed themselves to provide 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

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