ECA participated in a meeting of EU Sports Directors in Gdansk, Poland on the 15th of December. The meeting, which brought together senior civil servants from the EU's 27 Sports Ministries, focused on a number of key issues including Good Governance in Sport. Several stakeholders from the world of sport including FIFA and the IOC were invited to participate alongside ECA in a debate entitled "Good Governance in Sport - relations between the autonomy of sport organizations and the role of the state".
In his address to delegates, ECA Public & EU Affairs Advisor David Frommer stressed the close link between good governance and autonomy. He suggested that the need for outside political interference in sport would be greatly reduced if governance structures were more open, transparent, accountable and democratic. If decision-making structures were truly democratic allowing for meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, the risk of disputes would be reduced and the chances of positive outcomes acceptable to all would be enhanced - thus reducing the need for outside political interference to overcome problems. He also made the point that full autonomy was not possible and indeed not sought after given that the sports movement needed to work in collaboration with public authorities on a number of key issues not least in the fight against match fixing and the need to enhance the integrity of the game.
Commenting on the meeting, David Frommer stated:
"We congratulate the Polish Presidency for having placed Good Governance in Sport at the top of its agenda. For ECA it is the No. 1 priority and we hope that future Presidencies of the EU will follow the Polish example and continue to apply pressure on the sports movement to modernise governance structures in Sport. We also welcome the opportunity afforded by the EU to ECA to sit at the table and contribute to the debate and look forward to continuing to work closely with Governments and the EU Institutions as these move forward in developing a Sports policy for the EU."