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 initiating the Synergy , which the EU regards as a means to increase cooperation among the countries surrounding the Black Sea. Closer regional ties will:
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.
The EU has also established a new cross-border cooperation programme for local authorities in the Black Sea area that also supports civil society organisations.
A report on the first year of implementation of the Black Sea Synergy highlighted the practical utility and potential of this new approach for EU regional policy.
The Black Sea NGO Forum was launched in 2008. The Forum brings together over 600 participants, including NGOs representatives, experts, donors and governmental representatives from the Black Sea region. The current participants are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania and Russia.