The members of the CPMR Balkan and Black Sea Commission held their Annual General Assembly in Tulcea (Romania) on 12 and 13 April 2019 at the kind invitation of the President of Tulcea County Council, Mr Horia Teodorescu.

Ms Christiana Kalogirou, Regional Governor of North Aegean (Greece) was successfully and unanimously re-elected for a two-year term, with Mr Valentin Moldoveanu, Tulcea County Councillor, being nominated as First Vice-President for the period 2019-2021.

Besides dealing with administrative and statutory matters, the 2019 BBSC General Assembly focused mainly on blue growth and sustainable transport in the wider Black Sea and the opportunities these sectors offer to capitalise on the area’s untapped potential. This sparked interest among numerous representatives attending the meeting from local and regional authorities – both members and non-members of the Commission-, ministries, maritime and research organisations, EU institutions, civil society and universities.

The topics raised during this year’s General Assembly attracted a strong participation from several Romanian ministries’ representatives, including H.E. Sirma Caraman, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, H.E. Dumitru Daniel Botănoiu, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Andrei Chivu, Head of Unit, POIM Projects Monitoring Unit, Ministry of European Funds, and not forgetting Mrs Mirela Furtună, Member of the Romanian Parliament.

The Commission had a great opportunity to welcome Mrs Magdalena Andreea Străchinescu Olteanu, Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE – European Commission), who provided an update on the trends and challenges around the Black Sea in the fields of the blue growth, climate change, energy, research, innovation and education, as well as the future Blue Invest Platform.

The day was also an occasion to exchange best practices, especially through presentations of ongoing EU projects, and examine the innovative and competitive entrepreneurship methods helping to alleviate common challenges such as brain drain and economic development issues.

Participants showed interest in supporting multi-actor networking activities and creating synergies in all these areas, in order to develop projects and cooperation and increase the skills and knowledge of young people, students and public servants from regional and local authorities in the area.

Presentations from speakers

Morning session: Workshop on Blue Growth as a driver for cooperation in the Black Sea and the Danube and the experience from other sea basins

  • Ms Magdalena Andreea STRĂCHINESCU OLTEANU, Head of Unit ‘1. Maritime innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investment’, Dir A — Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), European Commission
  • Dr Gheorghe Viorel UNGUREANU, Senior Researcher, Romanian National Institute for Research and Development on Marine Geology and Geo-ecology (GeoEcoMar)
  • Associate Professor Dr Taner ALBAYRAK, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Maritime Business Management, Piri Reis University (Turkey)
  • Dr Gregory YOVANOF, Managing Director at Strategis Maritime Center of Excellence, Strategis – Maritime ICT Cluster (Greece)
  • Mr Eleftherios SDOUKOPOULOS, Associate Researcher, Hellenic Institute of Transport of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece)
  • Mr Daniel BUHAI, President of the RO-PESCADOR Association and Member of the Executive Committee of Black Sea Advisory Council (BlSAC)
  • Mr Dan VERBINA, President of the Danube Delta Fish Producers Federation (Romania)
  • Ms Natalia BUDESCU, Director of Association of Cross-border Cooperation “Lower Danube Euroregion”
  • Mr Stavros KALOGNOMOS, CPMR Balkan and Black Sea Commission Executive Secretary

Afternoon session: Workshop on Sustainable transport in the Balkan and Black Sea region

  • Ms Oana (ANDRONESCU) CRISTEA, Head of Unit, Managing Authority for Romania-Serbia IPA CBC Programme, Directorate for European Territorial Programmes,
    Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (Romania)
  • Mr Andrii ABRAMCHENKO, by Mayor of Izmail, Odesa Region (Ukraine)
  • Dr Vasile PIPIRIGEANU, Coordinator of the Green Danube Project, co-funded by the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) of the European Union, Romanian Maritime Training Centre (CERONAV)
  • Mr Stavros KALOGNOMOS, CPMR Balkan and Black Sea Commission Executive Secretary Executive Secretary, CIVITAS DESTINATIONS Project: the project measures and the replication potential for the BBSC Member Régions