Foreign State Secretary Podgorean argues for need of set of EU Black Sea strategic priorities

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State Secretary at the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry Radu Podgorean argued in favour of establishing a set of strategic priorities of the European Union for the Black Sea region, the ministry said in a release .

Podgorean attended the 6th edition of the Black Sea NGOs Forum, an event organized by the Federation of the Non-Governmental Organizations for Development in Romania (FOND) with the support of the Foreign Ministry and the European Commission Resident Office in Bucharest.

„Radu Podgorean spoke abut the need to establish a set of strategic priorities of the European Union for the Black Sea region that should, among others, include: energy transport and infrastructure, the environmental protection, the administrative capability, democratization, the investment in regional cooperation, the support of the economic reforms and the economic rehabilitation, which are elements that could become crucial to settling the protracted conflicts in the region”, the release said.

The ministry official stressed Romania, in its capacity of a EU member located in the Black Sea neighbourhood, has constantly expressed in favour of a coherent group of European policies to address the Eastern Neighbourhood.

„It is imperative to pursue with the moves aimed at finding the means to inter-link the EU internal and external policies and instruments relevant of the Black Sea area (the Black Sea Synergy, the Black Sea Operational Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region)”, he is quoted by the release as saying.

The idea of establishing a Black Sea NGOs Forum relies on the 2007 experience, when the Romanian Foreign Ministry together with the Crisis Management Initiative NGO organized the conference entitled Matching Words and Deeds: Enhancing the Role of Civil Society in Building Black Sea Regional Security.

One of the main conclusions of the conference was the need to gather the Black Sea non-governmental organizations with a view to enhancing their capability of getting involved in resolving the social-economic problems in the Black Sea states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, the Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania and the Russian Federation) that bear consequences on the degree of the region’s democratization.

Since its first edition held in 2008, the Forum has gathered more than 600 participants from various areas of the NGOs’ activity, experts and representatives of the governments and parliaments in the extended Black Sea region. The Forum was set up under the Black Sea Synergy aegis, an European policy launched on an initiative of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece aimed at consolidating the Black Sea regional cooperation.

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