Greek Commissioner Maria Damanaki Addresses the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation 20th Anniversary Summit

In the annual meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation last night, this time in Constantinople, Greek Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries addressed the opening of the 20th summit. In her speech she stressed the importance of cooperation between the Black Sea region and the EU and the joint initiatives the EU is taking to tackle the crisis.

The Commissioner said that the synergy between the Black Sea and the EU must revive as it is vital for both regions. She also said that she plans to create a joint forum of the EU and the Black Sea stakeholders, citizens and local politicians. This will take place in Bucharest early next year. The Commissioner also spoke about the initiatives the EU is taking to tackle the economic crisis. She stated that the EU is at a crossroads. It will either face problems collectively and move forward in a more integrated approach or it will break into pieces. Mrs Damanaki also pointed out that the two pillars the Union must unite are the economies and the common monetary. She also stressed the need to open the dialogue with the Black Sea region as to  whether and how common fishery policies can be achieved between the two regions. In addition, she repeated the target of the EU on the issue, to promote growth, jobs and sustainable development.

On 25 June 1992,the Heads of State and Government of eleven countries– Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine–signed in Istanbul the Summit Declaration and the Bosphorus Statement giving birth to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). It came into existence as 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.

(Source: European Commission)