At their 11 December ministerial meeting, in the presence of Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, Black Sea countries agreed to strengthen regional cooperation on the blue economy. This cooperation, established in 2019 under the so-called common maritime agenda, should boost synergies across countries and sectors and will benefit the entire region.
Under Bulgarian coordination, the seven Black Sea countries (Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine) met for the first time since the adoption of their common maritime agenda in 2019. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected most blue economy sectors in the region, including coastal tourism, shipbuilding, fisheries, aquaculture, maritime transport and port activities. The countries agreed that the common maritime agenda provides the right framework for the Black Sea region to ‘build back better’ based on its blue economy potential, the opportunities of digitalisation and, above all, a smart and sustainable approach.
Also Commissioner Sinkevičius emphasized the need to align recovery with sustainability. “With the European Green Deal, the EU has the right compass to guide us to that goal. A similar approach will be equally important for our neighbouring countries”, the Commissioner said.
The Commission informed participants about opportunities for financial support from the EU 2021-2027 long-term budget and Next Generation EU, opening up a massive €1.8 trillion package – the largest one ever financed. It includes the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument with a budget of €98.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the countries of the region and the European Commission are working together to make sure that the shared goals under the common maritime agenda are reflected in future national and regional programmes, including the EU co-funded ones, while coordinating with other donors to complement the investments opportunities.
Black Sea Assistance Mechanism
Black Sea Virtual Knowledge Centre (BSVKC)
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