Recommendation Rec(2005)8
of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on the principles of good governance in sport

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 20 April 2005
at the 924th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage, and of facilitating their economic and social progress;

Bearing in mind the Committee of Ministers' Declaration on compliance with commitments accepted by member states of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, 10 November 1994);

Also bearing in mind the Final Declaration of the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, 10-11 October 1997) which underlines the standard setting role of the Council of Europe, in particular, to seek common responses to the challenges posed by the growth in corruption;

Bearing in mind the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations (ETS No. 124);

Bearing in mind “The Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe” of 13 November 2002, which provide a sound basis for governing the status of non-governmental organisations in Europe;

Bearing in mind the opinion of the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) on corruption in sport (2004);

Bearing in mind the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation's (ENGSO) Recommendation on transparency and credibility in sports organisations;

Aware of the need to identify the underlying principles which should be incorporated into a comprehensive policy for sport and good governance;

Taking into account in this respect Resolution No. 1 on the principles of good governance in sport adopted at the 10th Conference of European Ministers responsible for sport in Budapest in October 2004;

Considering that good governance in sport is a complex network of policy measures and private regulations used to promote integrity in the management of the core values of sport such as democratic, ethical, efficient and accountable sports activities; and that these measures apply equally to the public administration sector of sport and to the non-governmental sports sector;

Reaffirming that the nature of sport itself, based on fair play and equal competition, requires that all unethical practices and behaviours in sport should be forcefully and effectively countered;

Stressing their belief that the consistent application of the principles of good governance in sport would be a significant factor in helping to eradicate corruption and other malpractices in sport;

Agreeing that the implementation of the principles of good governance in sport is a key to widening popularity of sport and strengthening the position of non-governmental sports organisations in civil society; to the encouragement of sport as a vehicle for participatory, active, healthy citizens and for social and ethnic integration; and to the promotion of gender mainstreaming in sport;

Considering that non-governmental sports organisations are an essential basis for the development and continued survival of democratic sport, and also make a unique contribution to the realisation of societies based on the rule of law, pluralist democracy and respect for human rights – which are the guiding principles of the Council of Europe;

Convinced that the successful implementation by sports non-governmental organisations of effective good governance policies in their organisations would help to strengthen their self-governance and autonomy in matters concerning sport and would further strengthen their position in relation to public authorities based on mutual respect and trust,

Recommends that the governments of member states:

1. adopt effective policies and measures of good governance in sport, which include as a minimum requirement:

    - democratic structures for non-governmental sports organisations based on clear and regular electoral procedures open to the whole membership;
    - organisation and management of a professional standard, with an appropriate code of ethics and procedures for dealing with conflicts of interest;
    - accountability and transparency in decision-making and financial operations, including the open publication of yearly financial accounts duly audited;
    - fairness in dealing with membership, including gender equality and solidarity;

2. ensure that these principles of good governance are integrated into sports policies and practices at national level, both in governmental and in non-governmental structures;

3. use these principles as the basis for setting an equitable partnership between the public authorities and the sports movement;

4. call upon all national institutions, non-governmental organisations and other groups concerned in sport to devise, implement, strengthen and support initiatives based on the principles of good governance in sport;

5. invite all sectors – non-governmental sports organisations, civil society groups and voluntary institutions – to cooperate closely with the national authorities in order to achieve and implement the principles of this Recommendation;

6. set up mechanisms to monitor the implementation of good governance in sport principles, and put in place mechanisms to deal with inappropriate or unethical behaviours in sport, including prosecution where necessary.



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