Following the coming into force of the Macolin Convention on September 1, 2018, the Follow-Up Committee (FUC) was set up in order to monitor the implementation of the Convention and oversee its sustainability.
During the drafting process, a credible and legitimate monitoring mechanism was considered to be essential for the effectiveness of the convention.
The FUC is composed of representatives of Parties to the Convention (State Parties and Observers) and is primarily responsible for follow-up duties relating to the convention.
Under the convention, each party is entitled to appoint a representative/s to the committee.
The allowance of observers to form part of the FUC is deemed to be an important feature of the committee since they bring with them a wealth of expertise in a crucial area of sports law.
The observers bring further positive support to the monitoring of the convention.
The FUC has a number of important tasks within its remit.
At the forefront is its role to assess the compliance of States Parties legislation (implantation of the Convention) and policies and practices with the convention.
It is also empowered to make recommendations to the Parties on measures to ensure efficient co-operation between the relevant public authorities, sports organisations and betting operators.
This is done to benefit from the exchange of information as well as to promote the Convention and inform relevant stakeholders and the public about the activities undertaken within the framework of the convention.
Another crucial function of the FUC is to adopt and amend the list of sports organisations as well as to encourage more countries to ratify the convention.
According to Article 38 of the convention, the FUC is empowered to submit its opinion on any proposed amendments to the committee that are proposed by any party, with such opinion being submitted to the Committee of Ministers for the latter’s consideration and possible adaptation.
The FUC is also empowered to be informed of any difficulties regarding the interpretation and application of the Convention.
To date the FUC has already met up three times (24-25 November 2020, 23-24 June 2021 and 11-12 October 2021) since its inception.
During the first meeting of the FYC, views on working methods, cooperation with key stakeholders and approaches to monitoring were exchanged as well as the important decision to grant observer status to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL and the Global Lotteries Monitoring System (GLMS).
The committee also agreed on the importance of integrating the Network of National Platforms (Group of Copenhagen) as an Advisory Group to the FUC.
The second meeting saw further observer statuses granted to UEFA and FIFA respectively and a draft list of sport organisations that fall within the remit of the convention was drawn up as well as taking note of Malta’s recent commitment to sign the convention.
The last meeting to date of the FUC saw the adaptation of the Committee’s Action Plan 2022-2025, which aims at increasing the number of parties to the convention, supporting its implementation and advancing cooperation among key stakeholders at the national and international levels.
The FUC also adopted the first version of the list of “sports organisations”, emphasising its dynamic and updateable nature.
It is crucial that the FUC ensures that its 2022-2025 Action Plan is fully implemented whilst at the same time ensuring that the list of sports organisations continues to be modified as necessary from time to time in order to continue being at the forefront when it comes to combating manipulation of sports competitions.
The Macolin Convention is active, effective and attractive for all those who want to join forces in order to protect sport and its values and remains the only legally-binding international treaty expressly created in the field of prevention and fight against the manipulation of sports competitions.
Governments, international organisations, sport movement, law enforcement and betting authorities must all unit to combat such phenomenal threat on a united front.