For years now EGLSF has had participatory status in the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg (France), now covers virtually the entire European continent, with 47 member countries. Founded on 5 May 1949 by 10 countries, the Council of Europe seeks to develop throughout Europe common democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.
In 2007 some of these countries agreed to work more closely in the field of sports. This resulted in the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sports (EPAS) now consisting of 34 countries. The EPAS has a Consultative Committee that advises the Governing body. Again due to good work of Ben Baks (now honorary member of EGLSF) EGLSF has from the start of EPAS been a member of this consultative committee. Other members include UEFA, the European Olympic Committee and ISCA.
In March of this year EGLSF copresidents Lou Englefield and Lou Manders took part in the yearly meeting of the consultative committee in Paris. With the active help of the executive board of EPAS and the support of members in the Consultative Committee, EGLSF managed to get “tackling homophobia in sports” as main theme of EPAS in 2012.
This means EGLSF will organise three activities in 2012 with support of EPAS:
- The conference, with the presentation of the handbook of good practises, before the AGA in Split is the first activity where EGLSF is main contractor.
- ENGSO (also member of the Consultative Committee) will organise training for youth how to deal with homophobia in sports. This event will take place during EuroGames 2012 in Budapest. EGLSF will co-operate with ENGSO.
- In October 2012 EGLSF will organise with partners the yearly EPAS International Conference in The Netherlands.
We are very proud we have established a good partnership with EPAS resulting in multiple events in 2012 all over Europe.
Together with other initiatives as the EGLSF program funded by the EU and the FARE activities in 2012, EGLSF will take the lead in developing a safe environment for LGBTQ athletes all over Europe.