The Council of Europe and Sport: Basic Documents

By Blackshaw, Ian | The International Sports Law Journal, January-April 2007 | Go to article overview

The Council of Europe and Sport: Basic Documents


Blackshaw, Ian, The International Sports Law Journal


The Council of Europe and Sport: Basic Documents

By Robert C.R.Siekmann & Janwillem Soek (Editors)

TMC Asser Press, The Hague 2007, pp. 414+XXVI, Hardback, ISBN

90-6704-239-0, Price GBP 65.00/USD 120.00

The Council of Europe has often been regarded as the 'Cinderella' of the European Institutions, but its contribution in the sporting arena over the last forty years has been quite substantial and not to be underestimated.

The Council of Europe, which now has 46 Member States, was the first international intergovernmental organisation to establish legal instruments and to provide an institutional framework for the development of sport at the European level. Indeed, its work in this field has paved the way for a European Sports Model. Since 1967, the Council of Europe has had a Policy on Doping in Sport, which has been quite influential in Europe and beyond in the continuing fight against drugs cheats. In fact, the Council of Europe played an important role in the establishment of the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999. And the Council's pioneering work in the field of doping has provided the basis for the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport adopted in 2005, which came into force at the beginning of 2007.

The Council of Europe has also produced a European Sports Charter, a Code on Sports Ethics, as well as the all-important European Convention on Spectator Violence, a subject that, sadly, is never far from the sporting headlines, not least in relation to the behaviour of players and fans of the world's favourite sport: football.

Writing in the Foreword to the Book, Dr Ralf-Rene Weingartner, Director for Youth and Sport at the Council of Europe, underlines the importance of sport and the Council of Europe in the following terms:

"The Council of Europe is aware that sport has a distinctive role top lay as a force for social integration, tolerance and understanding. …

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