EU and international cooperation

The Ministry of Education and Culture participates in various international organisations in sport-related cooperation between different countries, as well as in the preparation of sport-related matters in the European Union. Finland's most important cooperation organisations are the European Union, the Council of Europe and UNESCO.

In recent years, the focus in cooperative efforts has been on areas such as the strengthening of integrity in sports; the prerequisites of civic activity; legislative and administrative development; the promotion of equal rights; anti-doping activities; the prevention of spectator violence; and issues related to the status of athletes.

Finland has ratified the following international conventions: European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events, European Anti-Doping Convention, UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, and Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. Cooperation in the resolution of ethical problems is monitored by the Ministry of Education and Culture advisory board for sport-related ethical matters.

Cooperation in sport-related matters within the European Union

The European Union is authorised to provide support in the field of sport and physical activity, i.e. it may support, harmonise and complement activities in the sport and physical activity sector in the Member States. The Erasmus+ programme provides funding by application for items such as partnership projects and non-profit European sporting events.

European Union cooperation in the area of sport and physical activity is steered by a work plan for sport, which is approved by the Council of the European Union. Priorities are:  

  • Integrity of sport (anti-doping cooperation, measures to combat match-fixing, protection of minors, promotion of good governance and gender equality)
  • Economic dimension of sport (sustainable financing, legacy of major sporting events, economic benefits of sport and innovations)
  • Sport and society (health-enhancing physical activity, volunteering, employment in sport as well as education and training in sport)  

Five expert groups are responsible for making preparations for their respective priority themes.

In the Council of the European Union, sport-related matters are included as part of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council configuration (EYCS).  The Working Party on Sport prepares Council matters at the public officials level.

Finland's positions on sport-related EU matters are prepared in the EU32 sub-committee under the Committee for EU Affairs in the government. Sport organisations are also represented in the EU32 sub-committee: Valo, Finnish Olympic Committee and Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS).

International anti-doping work

International anti-doping measures serve to harmonise the rules and practices of different countries and organisations, improve the effectiveness of doping tests and promote education and communications.

Finland takes part in international anti-doping cooperation within the Council of Europe, the European Union, UNESCO and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Finland has ratified the International Convention against Doping in Sport 2005.

Finland has also pledged to cooperate with the Council of Europe under the Anti-Doping Convention: an instrument of international cooperation. The convention sets out objectives for governments and sport organisations to develop anti-doping measures.

The Anti-Doping Monitoring Group (T-DO) of the Council of Europe monitors enforcement of the convention. Anti-doping work is also part of sport cooperation carried out in the European Union.

Contact information

Satu Heikkinen, kulttuuriasiainneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Nuoriso- ja liikuntapolitiikan osasto (NUOLI), Division for Sport Telephone:0295330102   Email Address: