The Black Sea Basin programme draws the lessons of ENPI CBC and moves forward.
Combining three types of European instruments, ERDF, ENI and IPA, the programme covers a territory with a number of countries well above the average of the other programmes of the CBC community. From the Turkish shores, to countries in the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia), Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova and Romania which hosts the Managing Authority, eight countries are actively involved in the management and implementation of this programme.
Back to 2007, the Black Sea Basin Programme (BSB) 2007-2013 was a real innovation. For the first time, the European Commission was targeting countries around the Black Sea Basin in a single cooperation framework. Already then, the programme largely demonstrated, though with a limited amount of funds, its ability to bring together a large number of organisations and created a multicultural environment for improving cross border cooperation among people living in these regions.
On 31 January, more than 70 people gathered in Bucharest for the closure event. Representatives from the participating countries, the Joint Managing Authority, the Audit Authority and the European Commission as well as beneficiaries and TESIM, discussed the lessons learned and looked towards the future.
“Under the 2007-2013 programme, there were some very strong partnerships developed which were maintained after project completion” underlines Iulia Hertzog, Head of the Managing Authority. Ms Hertzog also remembers the high number of projects submitted under the two calls for proposals. «It exceeded our expectations and proved the great interest of the participating countries in this cooperation. We now draw lessons from this first programme: flexibility, simplification and determination in finding the best solutions for implementation».
For this second period, the same countries continue their cooperation and have decided together on the common challenges they want to address until 2020. The programme aims at improving the welfare of people living in the Black Sea Basin region through sustainable growth and joint environmental protection. On one hand, the programme shall promote business and entrepreneurship within the region. On the other, it will promote coordination of environmental protection and joint reduction of marine litter in the Black Sea Basin.
On 30 January, the Joint Monitoring Committee met to approve the first list of projects supported by the new programme. 23 projects were selected for a maximum amount of 18.6 million euros, among which 13 promoting business and entrepreneurship and 10 addressing environmental issues. Interesting results can be observed in this first call. 114 applicants in total are going to participate in the awarded projects, among which half are from Member States and half from Partner Countries. 15 lead applicants are from Member States and 8 from Partner Countries. As regards the legal status of the lead applicants, 11 are bodies governed by public law, 7 are regional or local public authorities and 5 are non-profit organizations.
The number of applicants was incredibly high for this first call, which is of course very promising for the future and the quality of projects that will be implemented now around the Black Sea basin.
For more information on the programme, consult the website http://blacksea-cbc.net.