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Major sports events — enhancing the integrity of sport



Conclusions on enhancing integrity, transparency and good governance in major sport events


  • They seek to ensure that there is a level playing field both among sportspeople themselves and in the bodies and authorities that organise major sport events at national and European Union (EU) levels.
  • They propose ways of implementing the principles of integrity, transparency and good governance at all stages of such events (feasibility, bidding, preparation, organisation, evaluation and legacy), including after their closure.


  • Major sport events offer opportunities to celebrate the performance, values and benefits of sport; they also have an important economic, social and environmental impact on the areas where they are organised.
  • Because of the large sums of money involved, certain issues arise in relation to major sport events which are vulnerable to processes that can taint the integrity of sport and its governance. These relate to aspects such as:
    • democratic and transparent decision making — both in awarding and bidding entities;
    • accountability;
    • sustainable development and positive legacy;
    • human rights, including children’s rights and workers’ rights, as well as gender equality;
    • preventing all forms of discrimination; and
    • preventing threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match-fixing and violence.

The conclusions stress the importance of:

  • regular dialogue between EU countries, the European Commission and the sports movement;
  • the role of national, regional and local public authorities in
    • financing;
    • infrastructure;
    • environmental protection;
    • safety and security aspects; and
    • planning and ensuring the sustainability of major sport events;
  • sports federations managing their respective sports in accordance with the basic and recognised principles of good governance (e.g. transparency, democracy, checks and balances and solidarity) given that sports organisation is essentially self-regulated.

The conclusions include a number of recommendations such as that:

  • EU countries should take initiatives ensuring all partners involved in events
    • have transparent and democratic procedures in place during all phases of major sport events, with special attention given to public information and involvement;
    • use transparent and relevant criteria for public support of the organisations involved, e.g. requiring these organisations to implement the basic principles of good governance and transparent and democratic procedures;
    • comply with recognised international standards and participate in initiatives such as the United Nations global compact initiative, the UN guiding principles on business and human rights, ISO 26000 and ISO 20121, and
    • use transparent and relevant principles as the basis for providing public support of major sport events in respect of specific integrity issues such as human rights, and preventing all forms of discrimination and threats to the integrity of sport;
  • EU countries and the Commission, within their respective competences, should
    • exchange and discuss information relevant topics in relation to major sport events;
    • support the implementation of criteria and procedures related to integrity, transparency and good governance of major sport events which could be used as reference points by EU countries and local authorities for public support of major sport events;
    • identify and develop models for public–private cooperation and exchange good practices regarding this cooperation;
  • the Commission should
    • launch a study on hosting major sport events in multiple EU countries and regions, taking into account possible administrative and legislative obstacles at national and EU level and the expected impacts of such events;
    • support transnational projects and, where relevant, independent research on the integrity, transparency and good governance of major sport events including aspects of sustainability and positive legacy in the context of EU programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020;
    • encourage sharing and publishing of good practices and learning experiences and facilitate the transfer of knowledge between the EU countries and the sports movement;
    • develop a light monitoring system, by way of a pledge board or the UN global compact initiative, to measure progress towards integrity, transparency and good governance for hosting organisations of major sport events;
  • EU countries, the Commission and the international sports movement should
    • intensify their dialogue and agree on a shared agenda — starting with the Olympic Movement and international football associations with the aim of extending it to other international sporting organisations — to improve integrity and transparency;
    • undertake joint initiatives such as developing guiding models for public–private cooperation, developing a code of conduct for all public and private stakeholders in major sport events;
    • organise a regular high-level dialogue as part of the EU structured dialogue on sport.


The EU’s work plan for sport 2014-2017 addresses aspects such as protecting the integrity of sport, developing its economic dimension and promoting its societal role.

For more information, see:


Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on enhancing integrity, transparency and good governance in major sport events (OJ C 212, 14.6.2016, pp. 14-17)


Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 21 May 2014 on the European Union Work Plan for Sport (2014-2017) (OJ C 183, 14.6.2014, pp. 12-17)

last update 18.12.2016