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.
In the innovative methodology of EU accession, sports policy is in cluster 3 “Competitiveness and inclusive growth”.
The report of the European Commission on Montenegro (2021) in the field of sports stated the signing of an agreement between the relevant Ministry and MONSTAT in order to improve the procedures for registration of sports organizations.
The EU Action Plan for Sport 2021-2024 is a document that regulates sport policy and provides guidance to Member States for the development of priority areas. The general objectives of this strategic document are aimed at: strengthening sport based on integrity and values; planning policy in sports based on data (evidence-based approach); strengthening the link between EU social and health policies and sport, as well as the role of sport in ensuring social and environmentally sustainable growth; strengthening the role of sport in digitalisation, recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Priority areas in this strategic document are: Integrity in sport – fight against doping, strengthening gender equality policies in sport, strengthening the link between education and sports, strengthening the role of sports diplomacy, developing the European model of sport; Socio-economic and environmental dimension of sport – encouraging innovation and digitalisation in sport, linking sport with the EU’s Green Agenda, strengthening the sports sector in recovery during and after the Covid-19 pandemic; Promotion of participation in sports and physical activity that improves health – promotion of the benefits of playing sports and strengthening access to sports and physical activities for all generations (special emphasis on the development of sports strategies at the local level).
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 sport policy is developed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. 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.
Within the fourth priority of the Government’s Work Program for 2021 “Education and knowledge-based society”, the necessity of sports development of children and youth was recognized, which, from kindergartens to universities, should compete in the spirit of sports. Also, one of the goals is to increase by 10% of students engaged in sports extracurricular activities in 2021.
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.