Academic journal article The International Sports Law Journal

The Bulgarian Model of Sports Governance

Academic journal article The International Sports Law Journal

The Bulgarian Model of Sports Governance

Article excerpt

1. Legal ground

The main legal act that regulates the public relationships concerning the physical education and sports in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Physical Education and Sports Act /PESA/ which was passed by the Bulgarian parliament in 1996.

The term 'sports' is also used in the Bulgarian Constitution where article 52, par. 3 stipulates that: 'The state guards the health of the citizens and stimulates the development of sports and tourism'. This is the only constitutional norm that uses the term 'sports' in connection with the citizen's health. The norm is within chapter two of the Constitution which regulates the main rights and obligations of the Bulgarian citizens and is part of article 52 which outlines the main principles of the health system in the republic of Bulgaria. The correlative relation between sports and public health is stated further as a principle in article 3, par.2, p.2 of the Physical education and sports Act, which stipulates that the sports and physical education system should be: 'a complex binding of physical education and sports with health care and recreation activities, education and culture, into a common functional system for improvement of its balanced effect on all strata of the population.'

The concretization of the constitutional norm for sports related matters, namely the concretization of how the state 'stimulates' sports is made by Physical education and sports Act. Article 4 of the same outlines the means by which the state applies its powers in stimulating the sports in Bulgaria. In fact the 'right for sports' is firstly recognized as a main right of the citizens not in the Constitution but in article 4 of the Physical education and sports Act. According to art.4.1 the state encourages the development of physical education, sports and tourism by recognizing the physical training, sports and tourism as internal necessity and right of each Bulgarian citizen to maintain and perfect his moving activities. Further the named article lists the state's competence towards sports, that are, not comprehensively, as follows: The state throughout its organs creates the normative regulation of physical education and sports (art.4.3), establishes the conditions for the development of the 'sports for all' - the children sports, the sports for the pupils and students (art.4. 4); ensures the preparation and the participation of national and Olympic teams in international competitions and Olympic games (art.4.5); builds, maintains, modernizes and controls the exploitation of sports bases and equipment - public state property and establishes the conditions and procedures for their exploitation (art.4.6); supports, coordinates, regulates and controls the activity of the sports organizations (art.4.7); educates the sports specialists and supports their future qualification (art.4.10); finances the approved sports related projects (art.4.12). The same authorities are given to the municipalities as bodies of local self-governance, even though they are not mentioned in the Constitution as executive bodies which 'stimulate' sports.

In fact, the whole following legal regulation of sports activities in the Act on physical education and sports, namely - the type and competence of state bodies of physical education and sports governance, the status of the sports organizations and the degree of their dependence to the state, the regulation of the rights and obligations of the athletes, the exploitation of the sports bases, the financing of sports and other, is structured according to the abovementioned general principles about the state and the municipalities authority in sports. What I mean is that because it is the state, or a concrete municipality, which has the authority to regulate all the basic sports related matters, to control their execution and to finance the sports activities, it could be concluded that the sports system in Bulgaria is built according to the mentioned by Josef Cobra 'interventionist model'. …

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