The EU supports regional development in South-East Europe with its Black Sea Synergy. By encouraging cooperation between the countries surrounding the Black Sea, the synergy offers a forum for tackling common problems while encouraging political and economic reform.
A conference between EU and Black Sea Foreign Affairs Ministers in Kiev (Ukraine) in 2008 led to a joint statement [14 KB] initiating the Synergy, which the EU regards as a means to increase cooperation among the countries surrounding the Black Sea. Closer regional ties will:
Specific Black Sea Synergy sector partnerships will address transport, energy and the environment. Additional initiatives may follow on higher education, public health and the fight against organised crime. Activities are already underway in the fields of civil society, research and information society.
The EU has also established a new cross-border cooperation programme for local authorities in the Black Sea area and that also provides support to civil society organisations.
A report on the first year of implementation of the Black Sea Synergy [273 KB] highlighted the practical utility and potential of this new approach to EU regional policy.
The Black Sea Environmental Partnership was launched in March 2010. Further measures are now needed on biodiversity conservation as well as integrated coastal zone and river basin management. Other priorities include tackling pollution and promoting environmental integration, monitoring, research and eco-innovation.