Ministers discussed how governments can improve governance in sports against the background of recurrent corruption, money laundering and doping scandals and the consequent negative impact on the credibility and trust of the public in the positive values of sport.
Ministers underlined that the autonomy the sports sector has been enjoying for a long time can only be maintained if high standards of good governance are applied, but the current situation has made it clear that sports organizations alone are not equipped to combat the threats to its integrity that continue to occur.
Ministers agreed that sports organizations require support and cooperation and in some cases, the intervention of national governments and recalled that the sports sector must respect the basic principles of good governance, such as skilled management, sustainable financing, accountability and transparency. Europe needs one voice to improve the integrity in sport.
The Council also adopted conclusions on enhancing integrity, transparency and good governance in major sports events. The text proposes several measures to implement these principles at national and European level at all stages of such events (feasibility, bidding, preparation, organization, evaluation, legacy), including after their closure.
After the EU-Sport Council a structured dialogue took place between EU-sports ministers and representatives of the IOC, EOC, FIFA and UEFA. The participants discussed transparency and good governance in sport and agreed to set up a regular dialogue.
The Netherlands minister for Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers said: "sport is great fun, but only if the game is played fairly: not only on the field but also in the boardrooms of sports organizations and authorities. That is why the Netherlands presidency has made integrity, transparency and good governance in sport one of its priorities."