SD Europe has once again been granted observer status on the Committee on Safety & Security at Sporting Events for an additional 3 year period having originally been granted the status in January 2016.
1. What is the Committee on Safety & Security at Sports Events?
The Committee is the body in charge of monitoring the application of the European Convention on Safety, Security and Service (the Saint-Denis Convention). The main mission of the Standing Committee is to make sure the state parties respect the treaty and to help them implement its provisions. One way this is done is by making consultative visits to countries who sign and ratify the convention. SD Europe has attended a number of these visits in the past to review the supporter liaison arrangements in the country concerned and provide recommendations for the visit report drawn up by the Council of Europe. The Standing Committee is made up of one or more national delegates nominated by the governments of the member states to the Convention.
2. What does it do?
The Standing Committee meets annually in Strasbourg at the headquarters of the Council of Europe or in a host country before the start of major sports events such as the European Championships. Each member state to the Convention holds one vote and decisions are taken by majority voting. The status of observer at the Standing Committee is held by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Tunisia, the European Commission, the Holy See, FIFA, UEFA, Football Supporters Europe (FSE), CAFE, Colour Blind Awareness and SD Europe among others.
3. What does "Observer Status' actually mean?
The granting of observer status on the Standing Committee to SD Europe will help to consolidate the involvement of supporter organisations in discussions about issues that affect fans across Europe. It gives SD Europe the opportunity to collaborate with key stakeholders in the development of supporter-focused projects in accordance with the Standing Committee’s integrated approach to safety, security and service at sports events. It will further raise the profile of the Supporter Liaison Officer role as a dialogue tool at European level and also allow SD Europe to intensify relationships with the various governments and National Football Information Points as part of its efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of supporter liaison in violence prevention, service provision and enhancing the matchday experience.
Under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe are required to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) to ensure proper and constructive discourse between them and their fans. The SLO project originated in 2009 as a result of detailed talks between UEFA and SD Europe. It was approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in 2010, with SD Europe appointed to manage its implementation across UEFA’s 54 member associations. If you would like to learn more, visit the SLO section on the SD Europe website, follow the official SLO account on twitter or get directly in touch via email@example.com.