What is it about?

Across Europe efforts are being made to try and raise governance standards in the sports sector, specifically around the principles of democracy, transparency, accountability in decision-making, and inclusiveness in the representation of interested stakeholders.

Why is it needed?

While taking into account the great diversity of sport structures in different European countries, the EU aims to strengthen the organisation of sport in Europe. The Commission’s approach is to provide added value to work at national level by collecting and sharing good practices and providing practical recommendations that will help increase standards of good governance in sport.

What has been done so far?

The 2007 White Paper on Sport noted that self-regulation is able to deal with most challenges that affect sport if good governance principles are being applied.

In its 2011 Communication, the Commission took a more elaborate position, noting that good governance in sport is a condition for the autonomy and self-regulation of sport organisations.

In 2011, the topics of good governance and strengthening the organisation of sport in Europe were included in a Preparatory Action in the field of sport. Eight projects were selected, implemented, and concluded by the end of 2013.

An EU Expert Group on Good Governance was established on the basis of the Council Resolution on an EU Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014. In October 2013, the Group adopted recommendations on the Principles for Good Governance of Sport in the EU and presented them to the EU Council.

What are the next steps?

From 2014-2020, the EU is supporting sport through the Erasmus+ programme, which aims to:

  • Tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match fixing and discrimination
  • Promote and support good governance in sport and dual careers of sportspeople
  • Promote voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion and equal opportunities

Funding is available for collaborative partnerships in the sport field and not-for-profit European sports events.