Black Sea Synery: main facts of the first year report

The European Commsision has published a the report on the first year of implementation of the Black Sea Synery related to 2007 (COM(2008) 391 final). This strategy is needed as on 1 January 2007, two Black Sea littoral states, Bulgaria and Romania, joined the European Union. More than ever before, the prosperity, stability and security of our neighbours around the Black Sea are of immediate concern to the EU.

In May 2007 the Council adopted Conclusions on the Commission Communication “Black Sea Synergy – a New Regional Cooperation Initiative”.  It invited the future Presidencies and the European Commission to continue work on an enhanced and coherent EU engagement in and with the Black Sea region. Given the strategic importance of the Black Sea area for the EU, the Council invited the Commission to carry out a review in the first half of 2008 of the development of the Black Sea Synergy Initiative.
The Black Sea Synergy has been a recurrent topic of discussion in the relevant Council Working Party both under the Portuguese and the Slovenian Presidencies. This has given ample opportunities for Member States and the Commission to examine its evolution.

The 2007 Communication formulated concrete goals and tasks in sectors or thematic fields. The Commission has started implementing most of these tasks.

  • Environment.
  • Maritime policy and fisheries.
  • Energy.
  • Transport.
  • Managing movement and improving security.
  • Research, science and education networks.
  • Employment and social affairs.
  • Trade.
  • Democracy, respect for human rights and good governance.
  • The “frozen conflicts”.


In 2007 € 837 Million worth of Community assistance under ENPI and the Instrument of Pre-Accession were committed for the seven non-EU countries of the Black Sea region. In addition, the creation of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) offers a vehicle for pooling grant resources from the Community and the Member States. These resources can also leverage additional loan financing from European public finance institutions for investments in neighbouring countries, including in the Black Sea region. The NIF will make it easier to mobilise additional funding for priority projects and can thus also sustain Black Sea regional cooperation efforts.

First year report conclusions

The initial results of the Black Sea Synergy reveal the practical utility and the potential of this new EU regional policy approach. The launch phase of the Synergy has been completed and implementation has begun. Participants favour the establishment of a long-term Black Sea co-operation process and have formulated converging ideas about its content and arrangements.
Experience in the first year also demonstrates that the development of EU-supported Black Sea regional cooperation is a process taking place in a complex environment. Continued progress requires the consistent and active involvement of a growing number of actors, including both Member States and Black Sea partners. As in the first year, the Commission will be ready to contribute to this important work.