Maritime Affairs

Sea basin strategy: Black Sea

Sea basin strategy: Black Sea

Sea basin strategy: Black Sea

Black Sea
The Black Sea is bordered by 6 countries - including EU members Bulgaria and Romania. To achieve coherence and better coordination among key sectors of their blue economies, the European Commission seeks dialogue with the stakeholder community (public and private), builds up stakeholders' capacities and supports cooperation actions on marine and maritime issues.
The annual high-level stakeholder conference has turned into an important forum for engagement with the stakeholder community in the Black sea. Building on the success of the high-level conferences held in Bucharest (2014), Sofia (2015) and most recently in Odessa (2016), the European Commission teams up every year with maritime practitioners and entrepreneurs of the region to discuss how they can achieve their maximum potential, and generate sustainable economic and social benefits in the coastal areas.
A scoping mission was carried out to assess the state of maritime affairs in the coastal countries and to suggest draft architecture of a project to help building up the capacities of the public bodies and raising awareness about the benefits of maritime integration. A project concept was produced and is currently under discussion with the coastal countries and regional organisations.
The European Commission also supports the effort of over ten research institutes and public stakeholders from all Black Sea countries to pull the data they have collected in the recent years and create a single digital map of Black Sea seabed, including geology, habitats and marine life. A first version of the map is expected in 2017.
Studies were commissioned to identify areas for enhanced cooperation at sea-basin level and to explore the potential for maritime clusters. The results are published and can be found on the Maritime forum webpage (see below). Open calls for proposals covering the Black Sea are regularly published on our webpage.

Regional cooperation

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 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:

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), the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) provide financial support for actions in this region. The latter finances the Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme 20014-20, which aims to contribute to a stronger and sustainable economic and social development of the region.

The programme's two specific objectives are:

  • Promoting business and entrepreneurship (incl. tourism)
  • Environmental protection and reduction of marine litter

Blue Growth infographic

More info

Commission communications

Parliament resolutions

Maritime Forum (the maritime inventory)

European Atlas of the Seas

Maritime affairs