BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION
ORGANIZATION OF THE BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION
The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) was established on June 25, 1992, in Istanbul, with the signature of the Summit Declaration by the Heads of State and Government of eleven countries – The Republic of Albania, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Bulgaria, Georgia, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Turkey and Ukraine. The Republic of Serbia joined the Organization in 2004. On May 22, 2017, to mark the 25th Anniversary of BSEC, the Istanbul Summit Declaration was adopted.
With the entry into force of its Charter on May 1, 1999 (for the entire text: Charter of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation), BSEC acquired international legal identity and was transformed into a regional economic organization - the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
Aiming at fostering interaction and harmony among its members, as well as to ensure peace, stability and prosperity, encouraging friendly and good-neighborly relations in the Black Sea region, today BSEC serves as a forum for cooperation in a wide range of areas for its 12 Member States.
The BSEC Headquarters - the Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS) - was established in March 1994 in Istanbul.
The highest decision-making body of BSEC is the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States. The Council’s regular meetings are convened twice a year: in May/June and in November/December. In case of need special or informal meetings of the Council are convened. The regular meetings of the Council are held in a Member State chairing the Organization. The Chairmanship-in-Office is held on the principle of rotation in alphabetical order and lasts six months starting from January 1 and July 1.
The Committee of Senior Officials of BSEC is accountable to the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and operates on behalf of the latter. The Committee is endowed with a responsibility to implement the activities of the Organization.
On March 10, 1994, the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat (PERMIS) was established in Istanbul by the decision of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The current Secretary General is Ambassador Michael Christides (Hellenic Republic) assumed the post of the Secretary General of the BSEC PERMIS on 1 July 2015 and was reelected in 2018.
Since 1995, a consultation mechanism of "Troika", has been set in BSEC, which includes the former, present and future chairmanships-in-office.
Related Bodies / Affiliated Centers
The Parliamentary Assembly of BSEC (PABSEC), the BSEC Business Council (BC), the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and the International Center for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) are the organizations related to BSEC. They are independent bodies with their own statutes, though harmonized with the Charter of BSEC), separate budgets, headquarters and the agenda. For further information: http://www.pabsec.org/, http://www.icbss.org/, http://www.bsecbc.org/, http://www.icbss.org/ http://www.bstdb.org/.
Observer status in the BSEC is open, upon request, to any state or international organization which expresses its readiness to make practical and valuable contribution to the work of the BSEC.
Observer status may be granted, suspended or terminated by the Council in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.
- Republic of Austria
- Republic of Belarus
- Republic of Croatia
- Czech Republic
- Arab Republic of Egypt
- French Republic
- Federal Republic of Germany
- State of Israel
- Republic of Italy
- Republic of Poland
- Slovak Republic
- Republic of Tunisia
- United States of America
- International Black Sea Club
- Energy Charter Secretariat
- Black Sea Commission
- Commission of the European Union
Sectoral Dialogue Partners
BSEC promotes relationship with third parties (states, international organizations and institutions) interested to cooperate on various matters of mutual concern through dialogue partnership and sectoral dialogue partnership.
- Republic of Korea
- Republic of Slovenia
- Black Sea International Shipowners Association (BINSA)
- Black & Azov Seas Ports Association (BASPA)
- Union of Road Transport Association in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Region (BSEC-URTA)
- Black Sea Region Association of Shipbuilders and Shiprepairers (BRASS)
- Black Sea Universities Network (BSUN)
- Black Sea Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum (BRAF)
- Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR)
- Danube Commission
- International Network for SMEs (INSME)
- World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- United Nations (UN) ,
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE),
- United Nations Development Program (UNDP),
- United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) ,
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN/FAO),
- World Trade Organization (WTO),
- World Bank,
- Energy Charter Secretariat,
- Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC),
- Intergovernmental Commission Traceca (IGC TRACECA),
- The Central European Initiative - Executive Secretariat (CEI-ES).
Project Development Fund
In Tirana on 25 October 2002, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs adopted a resolution establishing the Project Development Fund.
Since 2003 twenty one PDF projects in the fields of agriculture and agro industry, education, energy, environmental protection, ICT, health and pharmaceutics, science and technology, SMEs were approved and accomplished.
Black Sea Project Promotion Facility
The “Black Sea Project Promotion Facility” was established in 2016 through a voluntary contribution of 1 million US Dollars by the Russian Federation to the BSEC PERMIS, following the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the BSEC PERMIS, donor country and the BSTDB. The creation of this facility is an important contribution to the project management capacity of the BSEC Organization and is open to contributions by additional donors.
Armenian chairmanship in BSEC
Armenia five times assumed Chairmanship-in-Office in 1998, 2003, 2009, 2013 and 2018. The latest Armenian chairmanship was successfully finalized in June 2018. It was aimed at strengthening and advancing regional economic cooperation in the BSEC area, which includes further promoting cooperation with International organizations (UN, EU, etc) and partners, improving interaction with and among the BSEC Related Bodies, Observers and Sectoral Dialogue Partners, the project-based agenda through the existing structures (Project Development Fund and Project Promotion Facility) developing multifaceted sectoral interaction among the Member States particularly in the fields of Information and Communication Technologies, Science and Technology, Agriculture and agro-industry, and Tourism.
Meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials and Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs were held in Yerevan on 25-27 June 2018, attended by all 12 member states of BSEC. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia H.E. Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan made a statement at the opening session of the BSEC Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
In the course of 2018 Armenian chairmanship the Armenian representatives chaired one Ministerial, two CSO meetings and the sessions of 14 Working Groups.
One of the accomplishments of the Armenian chairmanship in 2018 appreciated by the Secretariat and member states alike was adoption of the Green Energy concept that has been under consideration since 2012.
Armenia handed over the Chairmanship-in-Office to Azerbaijan for 6 months (July-December 2018). Within the framework of Azerbaijani chairmanship the Armenian delegation (Mr. Ashot Kocharian, Head of delegation, Director of Multilateral and Bilateral Economic Cooperation Department , Mr. Arsen Avagyan, Member of delegation, Permanent representative of Armenia to BSEC ) participated in the Meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials and Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Baku on 12-14 December, 2018.
The regular course of synchronized chairmanship rotation in BSEC and PABSEC was shattered due to detrimental actions by the PABSEC leadership. As a result, in the first half of 2018 the PABSEC chairmanship went to Albania while Armenia assumed the chairmanship for the second half of the year. Within the Armenian Chairmanship the Meetings of BSEC PABSEC General Assembly, as well as Business Council were held in June and November 2018 in Yerevan.
Representation of Armenia to BSEC
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to BSEC was established in Istanbul in August 2001. Mr. Sahak Sargsyan is the Head of the Mission since January 2019.
Representation of BSEC in Armenia
The Organization of BSEC is not represented in Armenia.
The priorities of BSEC
The priorities of BSEC as indicated in its Charter envisage the cooperation in the following areas: trade and economic development, banking and finance, communications, energy, transport, agriculture and agricultural industry, health and pharmaceutics, environment protection, tourism, science and technology, exchange of statistic data and economic information, cooperation between customs and border authorities, fighting organized crime, drugs, illegal import of weapons and radioactive materials, terrorism and illegal emigration, extermination of emergency consequences, small and middle business, education, institutional renewal and good governance.
Information and Communication Technologies
Country-Coordinator։ Armenia (2018-2019)
Armenia took over coordination of the ICT Working Group in December 2017 and within that capacity presented two-year action plan at the WG meeting held on April 25,2018 in Istanbul.
According to the action plan Armenia will pay a special attention to the implementation of Goal 12 of the BSEC Economic Agenda “Sustainable information society with advanced Information and Communication Technology infrastructure”.