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Poland makes history in sports legislation!

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    Minister of Sport and Tourism

The Council of Europe Convention on an integrated safety, security and service approach at football matches and other sports events

During a meeting yesterday with the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the Council of Europe submitted to the Council the ratification documents concerning the Council of Europe Convention on an integrated safety, security and service approach at football matches and other sports events, adopted in Strasbourg on May 4th, 2016.

According to Article 17 of the Convention, the document will come into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date on which three member States of the Council of Europe have expressed their consent to be bound by the Convention. Thus, as a result of ratification by Poland, the Convention of the Council of Europe will become a binding international legal act as of November 1st of this year.

So far, the Convention has been signed by 23 states and ratified by 3 (France, Monaco and Poland). The agreement was signed on behalf of Poland by Witold Bańka, Minister of Sport and Tourism, on November 29th, 2016, at the conference of the ministers of sport in Budapest.

The purpose of the Convention is to prevent incidents and disruptions of public order that may pose a threat to the attendants of football matches and other sports events. What is innovative about it is the adoption of the overriding principle of an integrated, multi-layered approach to safety, based on three pillars (safety, security and service) and on the cooperation of all the institutions and parties involved.  The Convention reflects the view that focusing exclusively on threats does not result in adequate risk control measures. It is more productive to implement safety and security measures on the one hand and proper customer service measures on the other hand, as the latter strongly impact fan behaviour.

When signing the Convention, Poland made a reservation that it would not enforce Article 5.2. This decision was taken in connection with the position of the National Police Headquarters and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, advocating the need to ensure that the transposition into Polish law of the provisions of this article be non-obligatory. 

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