Good governance in sport

23-01-2017

Historically, sports organisations have enjoyed considerable autonomy in running and regulating sport. This autonomy, strongly defended by sports authorities as a means to safeguard the inherent sporting values from external influence is increasingly being challenged, and made conditional on compliance with good governance principles, including those of democracy, transparency, accountability in decision-making, and representative inclusiveness. While sport organisations have taken steps to enhance their governance standards, independent reports suggest that much remains to be done. The European Union’s action for good governance in sport, mainly taking the form of recommendations and financial support for specific initiatives, has delivered some concrete outcomes, including the development of a set of principles applicable to organisations across the whole sport movement. A pledge to implement good governance in European sport, to which 32 federations and organisations have committed so far, was launched during the September 2016 European week of sport. The European Parliament is actively working on the topic of good governance, one of the three pillars of its ongoing own-initiative report on ‘An integrated approach to sport policy’. The text is due to be presented to Parliament’s first February plenary session, ahead of the drafting of the next EU work plan for sport for the 2017-2020 period, to be negotiated under the Maltese Presidency of the Council. A trend towards cooperative approaches to good governance in sport can be seen, including examples such as the future 'international sport integrity partnership'.

Historically, sports organisations have enjoyed considerable autonomy in running and regulating sport. This autonomy, strongly defended by sports authorities as a means to safeguard the inherent sporting values from external influence is increasingly being challenged, and made conditional on compliance with good governance principles, including those of democracy, transparency, accountability in decision-making, and representative inclusiveness. While sport organisations have taken steps to enhance their governance standards, independent reports suggest that much remains to be done. The European Union’s action for good governance in sport, mainly taking the form of recommendations and financial support for specific initiatives, has delivered some concrete outcomes, including the development of a set of principles applicable to organisations across the whole sport movement. A pledge to implement good governance in European sport, to which 32 federations and organisations have committed so far, was launched during the September 2016 European week of sport. The European Parliament is actively working on the topic of good governance, one of the three pillars of its ongoing own-initiative report on ‘An integrated approach to sport policy’. The text is due to be presented to Parliament’s first February plenary session, ahead of the drafting of the next EU work plan for sport for the 2017-2020 period, to be negotiated under the Maltese Presidency of the Council. A trend towards cooperative approaches to good governance in sport can be seen, including examples such as the future 'international sport integrity partnership'.