Annex IV to BS/WG/C/R(2019)1



 (1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020)



Acting on the basis of the resolution of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Moscow, 15th Meeting, 1 November 2006), which approved the establishment of the BSEC Working Group on Culture and its Terms of Reference;


Being convinced that the enhancement of intercultural dialogue as means to increase mutual understanding and trust among the peoples of the BSEC region and beyond;


Acknowledging the cultural diversity of the BSEC Region and recognizing that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to, and are crucial enablers of, sustainable development;


Confident that culture, cultural heritage and cultural industries are major assets for sustainable social and economic development, as well as for meeting the challenges that our societies are facing in a changing world;


Taking into consideration of the Goal 8 of the 2012 “BSEC Economic Agenda for an Enhanced BSEC Partnership:” Development of Tourism and Protection of Cultural Heritage” also giving prior attention to the significance of cultural heritage and its inherent values of BSEC Member States.




The general objective of the Present Plan of Action 2019-2021 is to contribute to the development and strengthening of cultural cooperation, aiming to boost the role of culture and cultural policies in the BSEC Region, based on;


  • Respect for and promotion of the rich cultural heritage of BSEC Member States.
  • Exploring in a systematic way the potential of the Region and to work towards shaping a better understanding of the Black Sea distinct regional cultural identity by developing joint strategies and programs.
  • Giving priority to the cooperation in the prevention of illicit trafficking of cultural property belonging to the archeological, historical, ethnographical heritage and the arts, inter alia, through exchange of information to facilitate the return of lost or illegally exported cultural values in accordance with the national legislations of the BSEC Member States and relevant international instruments.
  • Encouraging cultural routes/cultural tourism projects in the Black Sea Region.
  • Informing each other of the international book fairs and similar events to be organized in their countries and encourage mutual participation.


  2. a) Activities (planned)

Protection and Promotion of the Cultural Heritage


  • Encouraging the participation of experts from BSEC Member States to seminars, panel discussions and similar other activities related to the archeological excavations and sites


  • Promoting restoration and preservation projects of the architectural heritage on the territory of the BSEC Member States.


  • In accordance with the “2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” that aims to shape the design and implementation of policies and measures that support the creation, production, distribution of and access to cultural goods and services;


  • Identifying and inventorying traditional cultural expressions common in the Black Sea Basin and common cultural expressions of BSEC Member States


  • Encouraging academic and institutional studies to take necessary actions to protect the traditional cultural expressions


  • Promoting the exchange of experience and experts in the field of protection of the diversity of cultural expressions


  • Preparing an anthology collected from folk literature consisting both the written and the oral works and making this anthology accessible to the public via digitization.


Encouraging Creativity through the support of the mobility of artists and professionals in the field of cultural and creative industry


Taking into consideration the Goal 4[1] of the “UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” also giving prior attention to the significance of the cultural and creative industries for inclusive economic growth, reducing inequalities;


  • Exploring the facilitation of mobility of artists and professionals in the field of cultural and creative industries in the BSEC region
  • Promoting the exchange of experience and experts in the field of creativity in the digitalization and the entrepreneurship in creative industries


Innovations and Digital Technologies for boosting local and national economies


  • Inventorying common cultural heritage elements of BSEC Member States and making those inventories accessible to the public via digitization to encourage creativity and self-respect in the communities and individuals where cultural heritage originate. Inventories can also provide a basis for formulating concrete plans to safeguard the cultural heritage concerned.


  • As a BSEC Cultural Platform; Creation of a common digital platform in order to share information and experiences, project progress concerning the BSEC Member States would foster communication, visibility and bring all actors together.


Cultural Diplomacy


Culture has been increasingly recognized in diplomatic relations as a ‘soft power’ for its capacity to establish relations and contacts including with third countries where ‘hard policies’ could not deliver.  


As declared in the Belgrade Declaration (23 November 2018, Belgrade), cultural diplomacy as an important soft power tool that builds bridges among peoples and cultural exchanges as an instrument for addressing challenges of globalization, promoting respect for cultural diversity and fostering mutual understanding. Acknowledging the fact that the cultural diplomacy is the exchange of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture among nations and their peoples;


  • Organization of “Film Weeks” in order to create a positive perception in the minds of communities by bringing their cultures and positive values to the BSEC region through cinema. Technical and other details regarding the organization of film weeks shall be determined through direct contacts between competent authorities of BSEC countries and be made definite through diplomatic or other channels to be mutually agreed upon.
  • Promoting the mutual participation to traditional handicrafts exhibitions, the details of which to be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.  
  • Production of TV specials with the collaboration among the national TV stations reflecting the environmental and cultural characteristics of their own societies with a view to providing reciprocally a better understanding of political, economic, cultural and social life in their own countries.
  • Promoting the mutual participation to the international theatre, opera and ballet festivals organized in BSEC Member States.
  • Providing a platform on exchange of knowledge and experience on the establishment and operations of culture centers in BSEC Region.
  • Encouraging publishers to translate their respective literary works into the languages of BSEC Member States and publish them.
  • Support the exchange of experience and experts in the field of librarianship, material resourcing, cataloguing, information technologies and digitization.
  • Encouraging the collaboration among civil society organizations and private sector, which offer additional value to the cooperation in cultural diplomacy.


Establishment of BSEC Library, Information and Documentation Association

Consideration of establishing an “umbrella” platform for libraries in BSEC Region in order to facilitate the cooperation among member states in the field of librarianship by;

  • Following the recent developments in the field (innovation, digitalization, etc.),
  • Raising awareness on library advocacy,
  • Encouraging mutual participation to organizations such as library weeks and author meetings,
  • Facilitating the exchange of publications, knowledge, experience among stakeholders and discussing the digital possibilities,
  • Encouraging and facilitating twinning projects between volunteering libraries in the BSEC Region.

 BSEC Multilingual and Multicultural Library Project for Children

  • Development of the collections of selected libraries for children with children’s books in the languages of BSEC Member States to enhance intercultural dialogue and exchange of cultural values, also organizing reading days and similar side events.
  1. b) Joint projects (ongoing)
  2. Collection of the XX Century Works of the Classic Literature Writers

The literature is one of the best ways to get better to know each other and to exchange the common values of the geographical identity of the Black Sea Region.

Within the context of the Anthology Project that aims to compile the esteemed works of art of respectable writers/authors of BSEC countries, the WG on Culture should support the digitalization of the literary art works in order to make them more accessible.

An identification of the holders/coordinators of this project in each country (institution, editor, etc.) will be needed.

  1. Cultural Traditions of Hospitality in the BSEC Region

The collaboration of the homologue institutions is suggested with the aim to produce the common CD with traditional music/songs and instruments; / all national traditions to be presented on the BSEC Cultural Platform and promoted in all countries;

The Parties shall encourage cooperation in the field of intangible cultural heritage, by supporting traditional national cultural activities, festivals and art fairs, various achievements through joint exhibitions in the field of exchange of traditional music, crafts and other traditional values.

  1. Cultural Routes

Encouraging cultural tourism /”Cultural Routes” projects in the Black Sea Region and their implementation. Developing “Cultural Routes” with transnational elements related to the tourism offer.

  1. Cultural Port of the Black Sea

An “umbrella” action for all development initiatives that connect across borders – transnational level the Black Sea countries, particularly through the large ports currently active. It will promote the cultural value of these areas, linking the past with the present.

  1. Mapping of Byzantine Routes in the BSEC Region

In the context of the project that encompasses the Byzantine monuments or monuments with elements of Byzantine style preserved in the BSEC Member States, the WG on Culture should discuss the possible ways of utilizing the contributions of the participant countries.

  1. Establishment of a Network of Experts on Immovable Cultural Heritage


Bringing experts, who conduct research, carry out training programs and highly experienced in the fields of cultural heritage and preservation and the establishment of a network of experts on immovable cultural heritage would provide a basis for sharing experience and knowledge also developing solutions on these issues.

  1. Establishment of a Black Sea Youth Orchestra

Being aware of the role of music in building and feeding the soul of the community by promoting  peace and stability, WG on Culture should explore the opportunities to establish a “Black Sea Youth Orchestra” , including in  cooperation with international organizations, associations and institutions.

  1. c) Draft Agreements/MoUs


  • Draft Memorandum of Understanding on the protection of Cultural Heritage of the BSEC Member States;
  • Draft Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property Belonging to the Archaeological, Historical, Ethnographical and Paleontological Heritage and Arts among the BSEC Member States.

1st Meeting 

  • BSEC HQ, Istanbul, 13 May 2019 - Consideration and Approval of the Plan of Action.

2nd Meeting

  • BSEC HQ, Istanbul, autumn 2019 (TBC) - Consideration of the main issues of the agenda and the joint projects.

3rd Meeting

  • BSEC HQ, Istanbul, spring 2020 (TBC) - Consideration of the main issues of the agenda and the joint projects.

4th Meeting

  • BSEC HQ, Istanbul, autumn 2020 (TBC) - Consideration, adoption of the evaluation report of the Country-Coordinator and preparation of the Meeting of Ministers in Charge of Culture (autumn 2020-TBC).
  • Meeting of Ministers in Charge of Culture, 14 June, 2019, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
  • Meeting of Ministers in Charge of Culture, Istanbul, Turkey, autumn 2020 (TBC) – Adoption of Declaration.

(Seminars, workshops, symposia, conferences)

  2. a) Other Working Groups: Working Group on Cooperation in Tourism
  • BSEC HQ, Istanbul, October 2019 (TBC) - Joint Meeting with the BSEC Working Group on Cooperation in Tourism-Consideration of Cultural Routes/Cultural Tourism projects
  1. b) Related Bodies:
  • International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS)-seminars, workshops
  • Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee.
  • UN, UNESCO, UNWTO, UNDP, UN Alliance of Civilizations
  • Council of Europe (Cultural Routes, Euroimages)
  • Council of Ministers of Culture of Southeast Europe
  • European Union








Ms. Esra MERT

Culture and Tourism Expert

Directorate of EU and Foreign Relations

Ministry of Culture and Tourism


Tel: +90 (312) 470 7918



Ms. Elif Bilge ÇETIN

Culture and Tourism Expert

Directorate of EU and Foreign Relations

Ministry of Culture and Tourism


Tel: +90 (312) 470 79 07


Multilateral Relations Coordinator

Directorate of EU and Foreign Relations

Ministry of Culture and Tourism


Tel: +90 (312) 470 79 03


[1] “Promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development”

[2] * (The 16th Council, Belgrade 2007, recommended the Member States to appoint representatives to the Working Groups on a long term basis who will attend the successive meetings for as long as possible and act as their national contact points in respective Groups).