On 9-10 December the Sport Directors from the Ministries of EU Member States met in Helsinki. The Sport Directors meet usually once under each EU Presidency, and the latter decides the topics to be discussed in the meeting. This time there were three main topics on the agenda: corruption in sport, future Erasmus programme and sustainability.
As the meeting is targeted to the Ministries, sport stakeholders are usually invited only to a certain part of the meeting- this time on the discussion on corruption in sport. The topic was one of the main priorities of the Finnish Presidency and the EU Sport Ministers adopted Council Conclusions on combatting corruption in sport. In the discussion at the Sports Directors meeting, the Olympic movement was represented by Secretary General of the Finnish Olympic Committee, Mikko Salonen.
In his contribution, Mr. Salonen reminded the audience that in recent years the Olympic and sport movement have intensified the work to fight against corruption in sport. As one example he presented the work of the IPACS (International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport), where the IOC is one of the founding partners. In addition, he reminded that sport organisations have the disciplinary sanctions when it comes to corruption cases. Governments, on the other hand, need to take their own responsibility of taking measures against corruption and not allow such practices. “There is a need to create a bridge between these two stakeholders. Dialogue, interactions and common direction can be the only solution”, Salonen said.
The Finnish EU Presidency comes to an end as Croatia is taking over the leadership of the Council in the beginning of 2020 for the first six months of the year. For the priorities of the Croatian EU Presidency, please see a separate article.