Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation

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Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) logo.png
Formation4 June 1992
TypeEconomic cooperation organization
HeadquartersIstanbul, Turkey
Secretary General
Romania Lazar Comanescu

The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) is a regional international organization focusing on multilateral political and economic initiatives aimed at fostering cooperation, peace, stability and prosperity in the Black Sea region. It traces its origin to 25 June 1992, when Turkish President Turgut Özal and leaders of ten other countries gathered in Istanbul and signed the Summit Declaration and the "Bosphorus Statement". BSEC Headquarters – the Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS) – was established in March 1994, also in Istanbul.[1]

With the entry into force of its Charter on 1 May 1999, BSEC acquired international legal identity and was transformed into a full-fledged regional economic organization: Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. With the accession of Serbia (then Serbia and Montenegro) in April 2004, the Organization’s Member States increased to twelve.[1] North Macedonia's accession in 2020 increased the organization's membership to thirteen.

An important aspect of the activities of BSEC is the development of SME and entrepreneurship in the member countries. Concerning these issues, a series of workshops have been organized in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation and ERENET.[2]


  BSEC member states
  BSEC observer states

Founding members:

Arms Flag Name Area
(per km2)
Capital Name(s) in official language(s)
Albania Albania Albania 28,748 2,876,591 98.5 Tirana Shqipëria
Armenia Armenia Armenia 29,743 2,924,816 101.5 Yerevan Հայաստան (Hayastan)
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 86,600 9,911,646 113 Baku Azǝrbaycan
Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgaria 110,910 7,101,859 64.9 Sofia България (Bǎlgariya)
Georgia (country) Georgia (country) Georgia 69,700 3,718,200 53.5 Tbilisi საქართველო (Sakartvelo)
Greece Greece Greece 131,957 10,768,477 82 Athens Ελλάδα (Elláda)
Moldova Moldova Moldova 33,846 3,434,547 101.5 Chișinău Moldova
Romania Romania Romania 238,397 19,638,000 84.4 Bucharest România
Russia Russia Russia 3,969,100 144,526,636 8.4 Moscow Россия (Rossiya)
Turkey Turkey 783,356 83,614,362[3] 106.7 Ankara Türkiye
Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine 603,628 42,418,235 73.8 Kyiv Україна (Ukrayina)

Later members:

Black Sea Economic Cooperation (zoom)

As seen above, membership has not been restricted to countries which have access to the Black Sea: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Greece, North Macedonia, Moldova, and Serbia do not have coastlines on the Black Sea, though the last two are connected through the Danube river corridor and Greece through the two sea straits.

North Macedonia's application was vetoed by Greece after Turkey vetoed the previous application of the Republic of Cyprus, prompting Greece to cease to approve future applications from any country.[4] However, North Macedonia was admitted into the bloc on 9 November 2020.[5]

Observer nations:

Observer organizations:

Sectoral Dialogue Partner Countries:

Sectoral Dialogue Partner organizations:

International organizations:[6]


Commemorating 25th Anniversary of BSEC on 2017 post stamp of Serbia
  • Summit Meetings of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States meets regularly every 5 years;[9]
  • Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is the main decision-making organ of BSEC, and meets twice a year;
  • The Council of Ministers meets to achieve consensus on specific issues;
  • The Committee of Senior Officials meets 4 times a year and acts on behalf of Ministers of Foreign Affairs;
  • The Subsidiary Organs formed by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs deal with their mandate defined by the Council, prepare joint projects and follow the implementation of these projects. Working Groups and Groups of Experts are the Subsidiary Organs;
  • Chairmanship-in-Office coordinates all activities of BSEC, as well as, it controls the proper conduct of the activities of the organization and implementation of the Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the Council. In English alphabetical order, one of the Member States heads the Chairmanship-in-Office every 6 months.[9] Chairmanship in BSEC is performed by Ukraine for the term of 1 July - 31 December 2017.[10]

Related bodies[edit]

Related bodies of BSEC carry out their functions due respect to the principles of BSEC defined in the Summit Declaration of 25 June 1992 and in the Charter. They have their own budget.[9]


The Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation based in Istanbul, is the inter-parliamentary consultative institution of the organization formed based on the Declaration on the Establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation on February 26, 1993 by 9 founding states. Greece joined PABSEC in 1995, Bulgaria joined in 1997, and Serbia (former Serbia and Montenegro) joined in 2004.[11]

Representatives of Parliaments of member countries pursue objectives which are stated in the preamble of the PABSEC Rules and Procedures: insure the understanding and adoption of the ideas and objectives of BSEC; provide a legal basis for social, economic, cultural, commercial and political cooperation among the member states; provide support to the national parliaments to reinforce the parliamentary democracy; pass the legislation required for the implementation of the decisions adopted by the Heads of States or by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.[11]

Main bodies of PABSEC are General Assembly, Standing Committee, the Bureau, Committees, the President, the Secretary General, and the International Secretariat.The Assembly is composed of 76 members. English, French, Russian and Turkish are the working languages of PABSEC.[11]

The President of PABSEC is Archil Talakvadze from Georgia, the Vice-President is Anush Beghloyan from Armenia.[12]

BSEC BC[edit]

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization Business Council was formed in 1992 as an international, non-governmental and non-profit organization to strengthen the improvement of the business environment within Black Sea region. Business Council represents the business communities of member states. The International Secretariat of Business Council is based in Istanbul.[13]


The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is an international financial institution that was formed 24 January 1997.[14] It supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing trade and project financing, guarantees, and equity for development projects supporting both public and private enterprises in its member countries. Objectives of the bank include promoting regional trade links, cross country projects, foreign direct investment, supporting activities that contribute to sustainable development, with an emphasis on the generation of employment in the member countries, ensuring that each operation is economically and financially sound and contributes to the development of a market orientation.[15] The organization has an authorized capital of $1.325 billion.[16] The bank's headquarters are located in Thessaloniki, Greece.

BSTDB is governed by the Agreement Establishing Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, a United Nations registered treaty.[14] Unlike the International Monetary Fund and others, the BSTDB does not attach policy conditions by which debtor states can be controlled.[17] The Bank has a long term credit rating of 'A' from Moody's Investors Service and an 'A3' from Standard & Poor's, both with a stable outlook.[18]


The International Center for Black Sea Studies is an independent think tank focused on the wider Black Sea region, which serves as a related body of BSEC at the same time. It was established in 1998.[19]


The BSEC Coordination Center for the Exchange of Statistical Data and Economic Information was established with the aim to collect statistical and economic information, accomplish secretarial functions, coordinate obtained data and share it with member countries.[20]

Working Groups[edit]

Member states are cooperating on different issues within the Working Groups.[21] They are the following:

Working Groups of OBSEC
Working Groups on Country Coordinator Term
Agriculture and Agro-Industry  Turkey 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2021[22]
Banking and Finance  Russia 1 January 2020 - 31 December 2021[23]
Combatting Crime  Romania 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2020[24]
Culture  Turkey 1 January 2019 - 31 December 2020[25]
Customs Matters pending[26]
Education  Russia 1 January 2020 - 31 December 2021[27]
Emergency Assistance  Greece 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020[28]
Energy  Ukraine 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2019[29]
Environmental Protection  Romania 1 January 2019 - 31 December 2020[30]
Exchange of Statistical Data and Economic Information pending[31]
Healthcare and Pharmaceutics  Romania 1 July 2018 - 30 June 2020[32]
Information and Communication Technologies  Bulgaria 1 January 2020 - 31 December 2021[33]
Institutional Renewal and Good Governance  Romania 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2019[34]
Science and Technology  Russia 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2020[35]
SMEs  Russia 1 January 2020 - 31 December 2021[36]
Tourism  Turkey 1 July 2018 - 30 June 2020[37]
Trade and Economic Development  Turkey 1 July 2018 - 30 June 2020[38]
Transport  Romania 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2019[39]

The functions of Working Groups, of which country coordinators have not been appointed yet, are performed temporarily by the PERMIS.[40][31][41]

See also[edit]


^ Joined as  Serbia and Montenegro in April 2004;[1] BSEC membership was inherited by Serbia after the country dissolved in 2006.[42]


  1. ^ a b c Permanent International Secretariat. "About BSEC". Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2009-05-29. With the accession of Serbia and Montenegro in April 2004, the Organization’s Member States increased to twelve.
  2. ^ Antal Szabó (ed.), Emerging entrepreneurship and the policy development in the BSEC after the economic crises, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Ankara 2012, ISBN 978-975-7968-99-3
  3. ^ "Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu (TÜİK)".
  4. ^ Kurt, Suleyman (2006-06-11). "Montenegro Denied BSEC Membership Because of Turkish-Greek Rift". Zaman. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2008-02-23. In retaliation to Turkey’s move to veto the application filed by the Greek Cypriot Administration, Greece opposed all BSEC membership applications in protest, including Montenegro’s.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Agency, Anadolu (2020-11-10). "Turkey congratulates North Macedonia on membership in Black Sea bloc". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  6. ^ "BSEC - Black Sea Economic Cooperation".
  7. ^ "HISTORY OF THE IAO". Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  8. ^ "The Black Sea and the Mediterranean have many challenges in common". Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  9. ^ a b c ORGANIZATION OF THE BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION. "Point of reference for regional cooperation and understanding" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  10. ^ "Chairmanship". Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  11. ^ a b c "Introduction". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  12. ^ "Armenian MP elected PABSEC Vice-President". Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  13. ^ "Business Council". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ "MedAgri Member: Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB)".
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Black Sea News, No. 26, December 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 20, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  19. ^ "ICBSS". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  20. ^ "Center for Statistics". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  21. ^ "Areas of cooperation". Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  22. ^ "Working Group on Agriculture and Agro-Industry". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Working Group on Banking and Finance". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Working Group on Cooperation in Combatting Crime". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Working Group on Culture". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  26. ^ "Working Group on Customs Matters". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  27. ^ "Working Group on Education". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  28. ^ "Working Group on Cooperation in Emergency Assistance". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Energy - BSEC - Black Sea Economic Cooperation". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  30. ^ "Working Group on Environmental Protection". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Working Group on Exchange of Statistical Data and Economic Information". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Working Group on Healthcare and Pharmaceutics". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  33. ^ "Information & Communication Technologies - BSEC - Black Sea Economic Cooperation". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  34. ^ "Institutional Renewal & Good Governance - BSEC - Black Sea Economic Cooperation". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  35. ^ "Working Group on Cooperation in Science and Technology". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  36. ^ "SMEs - BSEC - Black Sea Economic Cooperation". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  37. ^ "Working Group on Cooperation in Tourism". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  38. ^ "Working Group on Trade and Economic Development". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Working Group on Transport". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  40. ^ "Working Group on Energy". Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  41. ^ "Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies". Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  42. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. "Constitutional Charter of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro: Article 60 - Breaking Away from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-02-23. Should Montenegro break away from the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, the international instruments pertaining to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, particularly UN SC Resolution 1244, would concern and apply in their entirety to Serbia as the successor.

External links[edit]