The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) provides a pan-European platform of intergovernmental sports co-operation, involving both the political and technical levels. It offers a framework of dialogue for the public authorities of its 38 member States and the 27 sport organisations of its Consultative Committee (International Federations and international NGOs involved in sport). EPAS develops policies and standards to promote sport in member States and make it more ethical, inclusive and safer. The partial agreement provides capacity building to public authorities and the sports movement. It also supports the exchange of good practice between governments and sports organisations. Finally, EPAS monitors the European Sports Charter and other recommendations. To grip the good governance challenge in sports, EPAS promotes the implementation of the principles that must rule social institutions: transparency; accountability; checks and balances and a proper separation of powers. In addition, to preserve and promote the positive values of sport, EPAS will continue to invest in the elimination of discrimination and violence in and through sport. In 2018-2019 emphasis will be put on three thematic areas: corruption in sport, diversity through and in sport (gender equality in sport and the role sports can play to facilitate the integration of migrants) and healthy and safe sport. EPAS works also in close co-operation with the two existing Conventional committees and the CAHAMA on the topics covered by the Sports conventions and issues of common interest. EPAS involves international partners including the EU, UNESCO and the UNODC.
Based on previous work of the Council of Europe, the Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) decided to address a particular aspect of the migration question by including the theme “integrating newly arrived migrants through sport” among its priorities. EPAS organised then, in June 2016, a conference on this topic. Through the viewpoints expressed by representatives from the fields of sport and migration issues, the aim was to determine and assess both the role played by sport with respect to migrants and the contributions made by these migrants to sport. It was clear that many relevant initiatives and interesting experience are being carried out by various actors, but that there is a lack of knowledge and information sharing.
To address this, EPAS has set up an on-line platform for project owners in English and in French that enables them to present projects, connect and exchange, …
Migration constitutes a real challenge for human rights. The democratic management of the cultural diversity, which has its roots in the history of the European continent, is a priority for Council of Europe member States but also for many other stakeholders.
ASPIRE and EPAS are working on the same topic of integration of migrants through sports, conducting complementary actions. Sharing them, exploiting the mutual benefits and ensuring support for the project were the main reasons for joining it, as well as the fact that ENGSO is one of the EPAS Committee Consultative members and regular partner of several projects.
EPAS role in the project is mainly on dissemination, networking and sharing knowledge. It will contribute to the success of ASPIRE by acting as go-between among the project owners, partners of ASPIRE and the public authorities of the Council of Europe scope at different level – from local to pan-European. Therefore, it will rely on the different tools at its disposal, Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the bodies of EPAS (Governing board and Consultative Committee meetings among others). It will also aim to create links with other organisations working on the same issue whenever possible. Finally, it will seek cooperation between the EPAS platform on integration for migrants through sport and ASPIRE activities to ensure sustainability of both projects.
In general, EPAS will constructively collaborate to achieve the objectives of the project, actively participate in various project events and provide, when requested, relevant data and good practice examples.
The person in charge of integration of migrants through sport issues at the Council of Europe EPAS Secretariat is Clarisse Bonjean, Programme Manager, under the authority of Stanislas Frossard, EPAS Executive Secretariat, in the framework of the Council of Europe.