What is the history of BSEC? When was it established?

BSEC was launched as a regionally owned initiative, with Türkiye’s lead, when the Heads of State and Government of 11 countries - Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Türkiye and Ukraine - signed the Summit Declaration and the Bosphorus Statement on 25 June 1992, in Istanbul. The BSEC Permanent International Secretariat was established on 10 March 1994, in Istanbul. On 1 May 1999, BSEC acquired international legal identity and was officially transformed from an initiative into a regional cooperation organization, with the entry into force of the BSEC Charter adopted in Yalta in 1998, becoming the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. With the accession of the Republic of Serbia and followed recently by the Republic of North Macedonia, the Organization’s Member States increased to 13. BSEC has become the most inclusive and comprehensive organization in the wider Black Sea area and has evolved into a full-fledged institution. For more information: http://www.bsec-organization.org/bsec-at-glance

Who are the Members of BSEC?

The 13 BSEC Member States are the Republic of Albania, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Bulgaria, Georgia, Hellenic Republic, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Türkiye and Ukraine.

What does BSEC do? What are the BSEC areas of cooperation?

BSEC is a unique and promising model of multilateral political and economic initiative aimed at fostering interaction and harmony among the Member States, as well as to ensure peace, stability and prosperity, encouraging friendly and good-neighborly relations in the Black Sea region. It serves as a forum for cooperation in a wide range of areas for its 13 Member States. In line with the principles and objectives defined in its Charter and with the aim of utilizing more effectively their human, natural and other resources, BSEC defines the common policy approaches of its Member States in summit and ministerial declarations, inter-governmental agreements, strategy documents and plans of action and launches projects and initiatives which are of joint interest to them. Agriculture and agro-industry, banking and finance, combating organized crime, culture, customs matters, education, emergency assistance, energy, environmental protection, exchange of statistical data and information, healthcare and pharmaceutics, information and communication technologies, institutional renewal and good governance, science and technology, SMEs, tourism, trade and economic development and transport are among the fields of cooperation within the framework of the Organization. For more information on areas of cooperation: http://www.bsec-organization.org/areas-of-cooperation

What are the main structures of BSEC?

Summit Meetings - They provide opportunities for the Heads of States and Government of the Member States to evaluate and provide strategic direction to the Organization’s activities. Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs - is the principal and regular decision making organ of the BSEC. The Council is preceded by a meeting of the Committee of the Senior Officials (preparatory meeting). The Council, in principle, is convened at least once every six months, in the country of the Chairmanship-in-Office. Ministerial Meetings in different BSEC areas of cooperation - the Meetings of the Ministers responsible for the different BSEC areas of cooperation consider the status of implementation of Resolutions, Decisions and Recommendations of the Council in their particular area of cooperation. Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) - represents the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and acts on the Council's behalf. It reviews activities of the Subsidiary Organs, evaluates the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the Council and elaborates recommendations and proposals to be presented to the Council. Subsidiary Organs - are Working Groups, Groups of Experts, Task Forces or Committees established by the Council or under its authority. The Subsidiary Organs carry out their mandate defined by the Council in their terms of reference, draw up joint projects and follow-up the implementation of such projects/activities in their respective areas. Permanent International Secretariat (PERMIS) - carries out the secretarial services of BSEC. It functions under the authority of the Chairman-in-Office of BSEC. That authority is executed by the Secretary General. For further details please see the BSEC Charter

What is the role of the Chairmanship-in-Office?

The Chairmanship-in-Office coordinates all activities carried out within the framework of BSEC and ensures the proper conduct of the BSEC proceedings as well as the implementation of the Resolutions and Decisions adopted. The Chairmanship rotates every six months according to the English alphabetical order (two-per-year Chairmanship sequence – one starting in January and one in July). At the beginning of its term, each Chairmanship defines and announces a set of priorities to foster BSEC cooperation in different spheres. These priorities constitute the roadmap for the Organization during the term of the Chairmanship. The Chairmanship-in-Office also prepares a Calendar of Events, in consultation with the BSEC Member States, Related Bodies and the Permanent International Secretariat, to support its priorities. The priorities of the current Chairmanship-in-Office can be reached from http://www.bsec-organization.org/chairmanship