9. EUROPEAN UNION INVOLVEMENT IN THE WORLD
COM (02) 220
Commission Communication to the Council concerning the Commission's participation in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its funding
|Document originated:||6 May 2002
|Deposited in Parliament:||16 May 2002
|Department:||Culture, Media and Sport
|Basis of consideration:||EM of 29 May 2002
|Previous Committee Report:||None
|To be discussed in Council:||No date set
|Committee's assessment:||Politically important
9.1 On 5 April 2000, we recommended a Commission Communication,
Community Support Plan to Combat Doping in Sport, for debate
in European Standing Committee C, together with The Helsinki
Report on Sport.
The debate took place on 17 January 2001.
9.2 The Communication concluded that the Community should
take action to support the struggle against doping in sport. It
said that the Community should mobilise the instruments at its
disposal and support measures taken by national authorities and
sports organisations. The then Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport (Mr Chris Smith) was firmly opposed to any extension
of Community competence to sport. He recognised that more needed
to be done to combat doping in sport, but believed that this was
best done by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The motion agreed
by the European Standing Committee was that it "considers
that the special nature and role of sport should be recognised
in applying Community rules to sporting activity; and supports
the Government's intention to ensure that Europe is effectively
represented in the deliberations of the World Anti-Doping Agency."
9.3 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 29 May, the Minister
for Sport (Mr Richard Caborn) provides useful background to WADA
and Community participation in the body and its funding, as follows:
"WADA is an independent organisation which seeks to promote
and coordinate the fight against doping in sport at an international
level. WADA was set up under the initiative of the International
Olympic Committee with the support and participation of intergovernmental
organizations, governments, public authorities and other public
and private bodies fighting against doping in sport. It was established
in 1999 and its Foundation Board consists of representatives of
the Olympic Movement and various Governments from all over the
World, including EU Member States. At the outset, it was agreed
that WADA should be funded solely by the Olympic Movement for
the first two years of its existence, but after 1 January 2002
Governments would also make contributions alongside the Olympic
Movement to WADA's funding.
"European Union involvement in WADA was considered by the
European Council on 4 December 2000 when it was agreed that EU
Member States would be represented on the WADA Foundation Board
jointly by the President-in-Office of the Council and by a member
of the European Commission. It was also agreed that any Community
expenditure on WADA would require adoption of a measure with an
appropriate legal base."
The Commission Communication
9.4 The Commission says that the purpose of this Communication
"to inform the Council how the Commission has implemented
particularly with regard to representation and funding, and to
examine the future prospects for relations between the Community
and the Agency".
9.5 Following the adoption of the Conclusions, the Commission
appointed Commissioner Viviane Reding to the Community on the
WADA Foundation Board. It also began work on proposals for Community
funding of WADA.
9.6 At its first meeting, in January 2000, the Foundation
Board amended the statutes, replacing the rule of unanimity for
adoption of the budget by that of adoption by a two-thirds majority.
The Commission was powerless to oppose this change as it only
had observer status. It subsequently informed WADA that, before
a proposal on Community funding could be submitted, it regarded
two conditions as essential to safeguard the prerogatives of the
budgetary authority. These were:
- the establishment of clear five year budget forecasts; and
- the amendment of WADA's statutes in order to avoid the Community
having binding budgetary decisions imposed upon it without consent.
9.7 In its Communication, the Commission says that it
has reminded WADA repeatedly of these two conditions but at the
Board meeting on 3 December 2001 the Chairman recognised that
the Community budget rules and those of the Agency could not be
reconciled. The Commission decided to annul the appointment of
Commissioner Reding and to inform the Council.
9.8 The Minister provides more detail. He says that although
there is no direct legal base in the EC Treaty for the Community
to take action in relation to sport, the European Commission has
continued to promote the use of certain Treaty Articles/Community
policies, such as social, public health and criminal/policing
policies, to fund and develop anti-doping actions in sport. Following
the December 2000 European Council, the Commission agreed that
it would put forward proposals for a Community contribution to
WADA's core budget under one of these existing Treaty articles.
The Minister comments:
"Most EU Member States' Sports Ministries, with the exception
of the UK, have been happy for the Commission to put forward proposals
for Community funding of WADA on this basis, with Article 152
(Public Health) being the preferred option.
"However, during 2001 the Commission did not put forward
proposals for Community funding of WADA because it was concerned
that WADA's budget did not conform to the EU's strict budgetary
controls, in particular the need for WADA to establish clear five
year budget forecasts and for WADA to amend its statutes to avoid
the Community having binding budgetary decisions imposed upon
it without consent.
"Despite ongoing negotiations with WADA, the Commission stated
at the end of 2001 that these conditions had not been met and
that it was unable to submit proposals for Community funding of
WADA. As a result, EU Member States needed to make alternative
arrangements to contribute to WADA's core budget for 2002. Following
further discussion at the start of 2002, EU Member States agreed
to make a collective contribution to WADA through the Council
of Europe and a special account was set up in February 2002. As
the Commission has not made a contribution to the WADA budget
it has decided to annul the appointment of Commissioner Reding
to the WADA Board."
The Government's view
9.9 The Minister says:
"Throughout these discussions the UK has opposed proposals
for Community funding of WADA through the Commission on the basis
that there is no power in the EC Treaty on which the Community
could base such funding. The primary function of WADA is to regulate
sporting competitions and to eliminate cheating. As such, WADA's
core activities do not fall within fields of action covered by
the European Treaties.
"The UK has argued that alternative options for EU Member
States financial contributions to WADA need to be considered.
The UK has, therefore, pressed for collective funding of WADA
by EU Member States through other sources such as the Council
"The UK believes that core funding of WADA through the Council
of Europe remains the appropriate mechanism for EU Member States
to collectively finance WADA, not only as a temporary measure
but also in the long term. In light of the decisions made by the
European Commission, the current situation suits the UK's position
on this matter.
"Although EU Member States have now accepted this position
for 2002, most see it as a temporary measure. It is likely that
they will put pressure on the Commission to come up with proposals
for Community funding of WADA for 2003 and beyond. The UK will
continue to argue that any such collective Community funding of
WADA must have an appropriate legal base. There will be further
discussion amongst EU Member States about the best form of representation
on WADA over the next few months".
9.10 At the Informal Meeting of EU Sports Ministers on
18 May 2002, it was agreed that the EU Member States would be
represented at the next WADA Foundation Board meeting by the current
EU Presidency holders (Spain) and the subsequent Presidency (Denmark).
9.11 Given the rigour of the requirements of the Community
budgetary authority, and the World Anti-Doping Agency's decision
that it was unable to meet the two conditions which the Commission
felt obliged to set to safeguard the prerogatives of that budgetary
authority, the Commission clearly had no option but to withdraw.
9.12 The Minister says that the present situation
suits the UK's position. There appears to be no immediate challenge
to it. We therefore clear the document, but ask the Minister to
inform us of the outcome of the further discussion which he says
will take place over the next few months about representation
of the EU on WADA.
- and (20765) - ; see HC 23-xiii (1999-2000), paragraphs 3 and
2 (5 April 2000). Back
Report, European Standing
Committee C, 17 January 2001 Back
Conclusions: OJ C 356 of 12.12.2000, p.1. Back