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The Black Sea is bordered by 6 countries - including EU members Bulgaria and Romania. Extensive dialogue and stakeholder involvement is vital for a coherent and coordinated approach to maritime issues in the area. A first dialogue was held in 2011 with Bulgarian and Romanian stakeholders.
Since then the Commission has extended the dialogue to all Black Sea countries by holding a conference dedicated to the Black Sea Stakeholders in Bucharest, Romania. The event launched a new phase of a pragmatic cooperation on marine and maritime issues at a sea-basin level, in order to reap the benefits of more growth and jobs for the coastal communities and the littoral states' economies.
As a follow-up to the event, a scoping mission (feasibility study) has been launched in 2014 to assess the state of maritime affairs in the coastal countries and suggest draft architecture of an IMP cooperation project in the sea basin. The mission will deliver its results in the first half of 2015.
Capitalising on the success of the Bucharest conference, the European Commission will team up with maritime practitioners and entrepreneurs of the Black Sea in 2015 to discuss how they can achieve their maximum potential, and generate sustainable economic and social benefits in the coastal areas. To this effect, the Second Black Sea Stakeholder conference will be held on 24 March 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. More information is available on the event WEB PAGE.
The Black Sea Synergy launched by the EU is an initiative for regional cooperation with and between the countries surrounding the Black Sea. It was designed as a flexible framework to ensure greater coherence and policy guidance while also inviting a more integrated approach. In 2015 together with the European External Action Service, the European Commission issued a Joint Staff Working Document [531 KB] All available translations. on the Implementation of the Black Sea Synergy during the period 2009 to 2014. It offers a snapshot progress in the main fields of cooperation in the Black Sea region with IMP being one of them.
The EU also enjoys observer status in two regional organisations:
- The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)
- The Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (BSC, Bucharest Convention).
Funding for Black Sea projects
Marine and maritime-related EU-funded projects can be found across various policy areas and are financed by various EU funds. Especially the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) provide financial support for actions in this region.
The latter finances the Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme 2007-13, which aims to contribute to a stronger and sustainable economic and social development of the region.
The programme's three specific objectives are:
- Promoting economic and social development in the border areas
- Working together to address common challenges
- Promoting local, people-to-people cooperation
Under the EU Horizon 2020 a targeted call for the Black Sea region amounting to EUR 1.5 million was launched in 2014. Among the applications, a project aiming to create a (self-sustained) network of research institutes, academia, think tanks and implementation agencies of the region was awarded. Black Sea Horizon will pool resources of all littoral states (and beyond) for projects of common interest in the field of science, technology and innovation. It will be implemented in the next 36 months
Blue Growth infographic
- Black Sea synergy - a new regional cooperation initiative (COM(2007) 160 final)
- Report on the first year of implementation of Black Sea synergy (COM(2008) 391 final)
- EU Strategy for the Black Sea (20.01.2011)
Maritime Forum (the maritime inventory)
- Black Sea section (projects, studies, background info, working documents, events)
- Blue Growth country and sea-basin reports (Mediterranean, Adriatic & Ionian, and the Black Sea)
- Study on maritime cluster development
European Atlas of the Seas
Baltic Sea Conference
Speech by Karmenu Vella - Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the Baltic Sea Conference – Kiel, Germany, 26 March 2015
Smart and Blue – New opportunities for the blue economy of the Black Sea
Speech by Karmenu Vella - Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the 2nd Black Sea Stakeholders conference, Sofia, 24 March 2015
Bringing the Atlantic Maritime Strategy to life
Key players from across the maritime sector will come together in Porto on 20th January to share ideas and unlock funding for projects under the Atlantic Maritime Strategy Action Plan.