Since setting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000, sport has played a vital role in improving each of the eight MDGs, which is a fact recognised in numerous UN General Assembly Resolutions (e.g. Resolution 70/1). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 recognise the contribution of sport to peace and development through promotion of tolerance and respect, and the contribution sport has for empowering women and youth, individuals and communities, and its contribution to the goals pursued in the areas of health, education and social inclusion. The UN and the WHO stress the importance of sport in supressing non-communicable diseases and improving mental health. In terms of the SDG4 in combination with school curricula, physical exercise and sport are necessary for comprehensive education. The UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace UNOSDP (due to establishing direct cooperation between the UN and the International Olympic Committee, UNOSDP was closed in 2017) developed Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) with the aim of training and developing skills of young leaders from disadvantaged communities to use sport as a tool for progress.
Moreover, sport in its core form, fosters balanced participation, empowers women and girls and has the ability to promote gender equality (SDG5). Sport is conducive to inclusiveness of cities and communities (SDG11). Sport promotes social development by changing the perception of persons with disabilities and offering them the opportunities to partake in sports despite significant impediments. In addition, sport can be used as a meaningful tool to prevent conflicts and promote sustained peace (SDG16). For more information on sport as an important tool in elaborating SDGs click here.
SPORT POLICY IN THE NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 2016-2030
In reference to sport, goal 1.2 Improve health of citizens of all ages and reduce inequalities in health status, envisages activities to improve the health of athletes. Goal 2.8 focusing on achieving balanced socio-economic development in all local self-governments, with specific emphasis on the development of the northern region, foresees the development of infrastructure to strengthen social and sport development.
Montenegro opened the negotiation chapter 26 Education and culture and provisionally closed it on 15 April 2013. There were no opening or closing benchmarks in this chapter, nor any transition periods or exemptions. One of the subareas in this chapter includes sport policy, which is, together with education and training, youth and culture, under the competence of member states, which implement them in the spirit of cooperation and observance of pertinent recommendations.
The EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020 is a document governing the sport policy and giving guidance to member states for the development of priority areas. The main goals of this strategy paper are focused on: strengthening cross-sectoral cooperation in raising awareness of the contribution that sport can make in meeting the policy challenges facing the EU; strengthen the evidence base for sport; close cooperation of the EU institutions, sport movements and other stakeholders to deliver added value in the field of sport at the EU level over the longer term; take into account the relationship between education and sport, including dual careers; complementing and reinforcing the impact of activities launched under the Erasmus+ programme in the field of sport; developing a plan to contribute to the overarching priorities of the EU economic and social policy agenda, as well as sustainable development and investment. The priority areas set in this strategy paper include: Integrity of sport – fighting doping, revision of rules and alignment of EU legislation; good governance (encouraging anti-corruption standards in sport), safeguarding of minors (prevention of abusing children in sport); the economic dimension of sport – fostering innovation in sport, increasing visibility of economic benefits and contribution of sport to the EU 2020 Strategy and the digital market; Sport and society – strengthen the inclusive role of sport, recognising the role and influence of the media in sport, building sport diplomacy, reinforcing the role of sport in health and environmental protection.
Satellite Sport Accounts (SSAs) have taken over a more significant role in developing the common framework for measuring the economic impact of sport. The EU Working Group on Sport and Economics established a harmonised statistical definition known as Vilnius definition of sport. The EU Conference on Sport Statistics covers statistical needs supporting the development of sport as a new policy area, discussing the SSAs and the possible function of tracking sport in the EU.
The turning point in the regulation of this policy area was the adoption of the Law on Sport in 2018 which governs the sport activity, types of sports, rights and responsibilities of sport entities, medical fitness of athletes, financing sport, keeping records in sport and other pertinent issues.
The overarching strategy paper Medium-term Government Work Programme 2018-2020 stresses the Government’s commitment for sport to be one of the tools for building and promoting its global position. Additionally, within priority 5 which foresees care for the health and wellbeing of all, the health of athletes is mentioned as a separate category. Priority 6 focused on improving the country’s perception globally singles out support to top athletes, as the state brand and support to holding international competitions in Montenegro, but also participation of athletes in international events.
The Sport Development Strategy 2018-2021 focuses on improving the work of sport organisations and spreading the idea of children, students and persons with disabilities engaging in sport, promotion of and support to excellence in sport, improved infrastructure and fostering research, development, education and expertise in sport, putting in place the assumptions for preparation, participation and achieving top results in the Olympic Games, Paralympics and other significant international sport competitions, as well as professional development in sport, and strengthening international cooperation. With this Strategy, the Ministry for Sport and Youth has largely set the legislative framework for sport, from detailed regulation of the register of sport entities to the adoption of the new law and the decrees setting legal terms for all aspects of sport and the position of athletes. Such provisions set the basis for having a functional system for sport organisations establishment and work, promotion and improvement of sport, and fostering top achievements.