Protection of human rights and fight against corruption on the agenda in Tbilisi

Protection of human rights and fight against corruption on the agenda in Tbilisi

The 15th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport took place on the 16th of October 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event was an opportunity to focus on main areas of interest of the Council of Europe, human rights and fight against corruption, in the framework of the activities of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport.

The Ministers, officials and sport stakeholders were discussing which steps should be taken by public authorities to address human rights’ violations and what are the obstacles to a more effective fight against corruption in sport. Following the Conference, two resolutions were adopted: “Protecting Human Rights in Sport: Obligations and Shared Responsibilities” and “Fighting Corruption in Sport: Scaling Up Action”, sending a positive signal confirming that public authorities recognize their role in assuring good governance and protection of human rights in the sport sector.

Voice of organized athletes was represented by EU Athletes General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk, who has underlined the need for involvement of independent athlete organizations in delivering good governance in sport and essential place of public authorities in making sure that internationally recognized human rights are protected and respected within sport context. The focus on human rights comes timely with the recent adoption of IOC Declaration of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities, which was criticized by athlete associations as well as some national athlete bodies and NGOs.

The Conference was followed by a Joint Meeting of Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly Sub-Committee on Education and Sub-Committee on Children, which focused on protection of children in sport and main topics of the Ministerial Conference, human rights and fight against corruption. Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in a panel discussion, pointing out the issues that athletes face within sporting context and the need to ensure that abuses of human rights of players, as people and workers, are properly addressed by public authorities and sport organizations.

Photo: Council of Europe

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World Mental Health Day at the European Parliament

World Mental Health Day at the European Parliament

10th of October every year is dedicated to the awareness about the importance of mental health. On this occasion, EU Athletes engaged with VUB, European Brain Council and EP Sport Intergroup, in organization of an event “Mental Health in Elite Sport”. Mental health and well-being is one of the main priorities for EU Athletes and our members, who are working in this area, raising campaigns and education programmes about the issue and providing services to their members.

Chris Kerr, Gaelic football player and member of Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has taken part in the event, raising awareness bout the importance of the issue while talking about his personal experiences dealing with depression and anxiety after the death of his father. Your can read more here.

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3rd International Conference on the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions

3rd International Conference on the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions

On 24-25th of September 2018, EU Athletes has taken part in the 3rd Macolin Conference organized by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The event brought together over 160 participants from 37 countries and 23 international stakeholders.

EU Athletes has been actively involved in the Macolin Process, particularly by coordinating and representing athlete and player organizations positions within the Sport Movement Group of actors. Paulina Tomczyk, the General Secretary of EU Athletes, who was present at the conference, chaired a workshop dedicated to the Sport Movement group of actors and addressed the participants in the final session to present athletes’ perspective:

“In the context of Erasmus+ project PROtect Integrity Plus, currently coordinated by EU Athletes, we focus strongly on prevention, education and reporting. Athlete organizations are doing their part of work but nobody can tackle match-fixing on their own. Experiences in different countries show that properly composed and operational National Platforms, with the active involvement of player unions, are truly beneficial for the fight against match-fixing. For this reason we are supportive of the efforts from Council of Europe and Group of Copenhagen in terms of  national and international cooperation.”

During the conference, concrete priorities were identified, which will fuel the collective effort to be organised within the next phase of the “Macolin Roadmap”.

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EU Athletes at the EU Sport Forum 2018

EU Athletes at the EU Sport Forum 2018

Hosted by Tibor Navracsics, the Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the 2018 EU Sport Forum has taken place in Sofia on 22nd and 23rd March.The EU Sport forum is the most important event in the European sport sector and an opportunity for EU institutions and Member States to engage in dialogue with the sport movement.

EU Athletes was present during the Forum, representing the voice of organized European athletes and participating in interesting discussions on the topics such as role of sport in international relations, sustainability of the Olympic Games, impact of the recent decision in the ISU case on the sport movement and implementation of EU Workplan for Sport.

Natalia Orive, the Vice-President of EU Athletes participated in the discussion panel “Women in sport: breaking the glass ceiling” and talked about the results of the SWAFE project and the role of player unions in advancing gender equality in sport.

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EU Athletes at Play the Game 2017: Riding waves of change

EU Athletes at Play the Game 2017: Riding waves of change

Play the Game is a biannual conference addressing a number of challenges to modern sport, such as corruption in sports organizations, match-fixing, doping, unsustainable mega-events and the need for more active sports participation policies. Play the Game 2017 “Riding the waves of change” gathers almost 450 journalists, scientists and sport officials on the 26-30th of November in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

EU Athletes Policy Officer Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in the panel “Reform in sport: An inside job or an outside intervention?”, highlighting in the speech the fundamental role of good governance in sport for athletes and the need for their equal participation in the reform process as well as the risks of uncontrolled and unconditional “autonomy” of sport organizations brings.

In the session “Athletes and Anti-Doping: Privacy and Participation” Paulina has also presented “Study of Monitoring Practices of European National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs)”. This research project, completed by Paulina together with Walter Palmer and Jeff Reymond, highlights poor reporting practices (low availability of the annual reports and fragmented data included) of European anti-doping organizations.

More information on the Play the Game 2017, including photos and videos from the sessions, is available on the website.

Photos: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game

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“Tackling Corruption in the European Sport”

“Tackling Corruption in the European Sport”

The event organized by the Greek MEP Stelios Kouloglou has taken place in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 7th of November. The conference has gathered many interesting speakers including representatives from the European institutions, as well as the research and sport, in order to discuss the problem of corruption, match-fixing and doping. Our Policy Officer Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in the panel and had an opportunity to highligh the importance of good governance in sport, the role of athletes in reaching this goal and the issues related to the specificity and autonomy of sport in this context.

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