The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) came into existence as a unique and promising model of multilateral political and economic initiative at the suggestion of the Republic of Türkiye with the signing of the Istanbul Summit Declaration and the Bosphorus Statement by the Heads of State and Government of the countries in the region (Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Türkiye and Ukraine) in Istanbul on 25th of June 1992.
With the entry into force of its Charter on the 1st of May 1999, which was signed by the heads of state and government of the participating countries (member states) in Yalta on the 5th of June 1998, BSEC acquired international legal identity and was transformed into a full-fledged regional economic organisation - the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
At present, the organisation includes 13 member states, namely: Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Türkiye and Ukraine. The BSEC Headquarters - the Permanent International Secretariat of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS) - was established in March 1994 in Istanbul.
Aiming at fostering interaction and harmony among its members, as well as to ensure peace, stability and prosperity, encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations in the Black Sea region, today BSEC serves as a forum for cooperation in a wide range of areas.
According to THE BSEC ECONOMIC AGENDA: Towards an Enhanced BSEC Partnership, which was adopted in 2001 and updated in 2012, agriculture and food safety, trade and investments, customs, education, energy, environmental protection, information and communication technologies, science and technology, SMEs, tourism and transport are among the main fields of cooperation within the framework of the Organisation.
|According to the Charter, cooperation within the BSEC is carried out by the following mechanisms:
- Council of Foreign Ministers
- Committee of Senior Officials
Activities in the field of cooperation within the BSEC are carried out through 20 working groups. General coordination is carried out by the Organisation's secretariat in Istanbul. Lazăr Comănescu is the Secretary General of the BSEC.
As one of the founding members of the BSEC, Azerbaijan actively cooperates within the organisation and supports initiatives aimed at increasing its efficiency. Azerbaijan attaches great importance to developing cooperation within the BSEC on the basis of mutual interests in a number of priority areas, including trade, customs, transport, energy, environment, information technology, science and technology and others.
So far, Azerbaijan has chaired the BSEC four times (2003, 2004, 2009, and 2018) and hosted more than 20 events at various levels of the Organisation. The Consul General of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Istanbul is also the Permanent Representative to the BSEC.