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Programme Description

The Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020 is part of European Union’s Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) under its European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI). CBC under ENI extends the principles of CBC among EU Member States via the European Territorial Co-operation programmes. ENI CBC receives funding from ENI as well as from the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession which is pooled together. All sources of funding may be used on either side of the EU external border for actions of common benefit. The ENI Regulation sets out the basis for CBC, further defined in the ENI CBC Implementing Regulation and the ENI CBC Programming Document.

While the overall strategic objectives for the programme were defined at EU level, detailed programming, including the priorities of the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC programme 2014-2020, were developed by the programme partners themselves working together across borders. To this end, a Joint Programming Committee comprised of representatives from actively participating countries was established and met seven times between April 2013 and February 2015.

The development of the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC Programme 2014-2020 was facilitated by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration of Romania, which was appointed as the Managing Authority allowing for continuity with its role as Joint Managing Authority for the Black Sea Basin ENPI CBC programme 2007-2013.

The Black Sea Basin ENI CBC programme 2014-2020 builds upon the previous cooperation framework, the Black Sea Basin ENPI CBC programme 2007-2013 programme, under which 62 projects were awarded and implemented in 8 countries surrounding the Black Sea Basin. Relevant lessons learned from this past experience have been integrated in the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC 2014-2020 programme strategy along with a mapping of projects awarded and a survey on current priorities and future needs carried out in 2013.

In addition to the past experience analysis, the methodology to identify the most relevant strategy for the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC 2014-2020 programme included a socio economic analysis of the programme area and an analysis of its key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) which was developed from June to November 2013.

The outcomes of the past experience analysis combined with the results of the socio economic and SWOT analysis resulted in the reduction of the 10 thematic objectives given in the ENI CBC Programming Document to 8 objectives, focused on a limited number of priorities, that presented the most interesting potential for cooperation within the Black Sea Basin. The proposed list of possible thematic objectives and related priorities were agreed for consultation in the 3rd Joint Programming Committee meeting held in Kavala, Greece on 15 November 2013.

Programme stakeholders were widely consulted in order to validate the SWOT and give input on the possible programme priorities. Consultations included:

  • An international regional level consultation during the Black Sea Basin ENPI CBC programme 2007-2013 annual conference held in Istanbul, Turkey on 5 December 2013 (including representatives of national, regional and local authorities and NGOs, researchers and academics, and other stakeholders active in the Black Sea Basin area).
  • National stakeholder consultations (events and/or written consultations) in participating countries from November 2013 to March 2014. Consultations were held at both national and regional levels to allow consistency with national/regional strategies as well as to include the views of the actors on the ground.
  • Open public consultations via the website of the current programme (initiated in December 2013) and some national websites.

The Black Sea Basin programme strategy also takes into account relevant EU strategies and policies (including the Blue Growth strategy, etc.) to ensure the coherence of programme support with existing EU strategic frameworks. A consistency analysis with relevant EU programmes was carried out so that the defined Black Sea Basin objectives and priorities would deliver real cross-border added value and would not cover elements already funded, or which could be more suitably funded, from other ENI or EU programmes.

The outcomes of the stakeholders’ consultations and the coherence analysis with other EU programmes were presented to the 4th Joint Programming Committee meeting held in Şile/İstanbul, Turkey on 28 April 2014.

After due consideration of:

  • the wide geographical coverage and limited budget of the programme, and therefore the need for the Black Sea Basin strategy to concentrate on a limited number of themes in which concrete results can be obtained, and
  • the stronger relevance of some priorities under ENI CBC thematic objectives “Business and development” (TO1) and “Environmental protection, and climate change mitigation and adaptation” (TO6) indicated throughout the analytical and consultation process,

these two objectives were selected for the strategy. Internal national and regional consultations, as well as online public consultations on the programme website (in June 2014), followed on the proposed set of priorities and indicative actions and these were finally agreed at the 5th Meeting of the Joint Programming Committee in Brussels, Belgium on 17 July 2014.

The strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process started in October 2014 and involved the relevant environmental authorities in the participating countries. The draft conclusions of the process were presented at the 7th meeting of the Joint Programming Committee in Chisinau, Moldova on 26 February 2015.

Modalities for the implementation of the programme were developed throughout the period and agreed progressively at the Joint Programming Committee meetings.

The final public consultation of the whole Joint Operational Programme was held from 16 March to 3 April 2015 by national authorities and via the website of the current programme.

The programming process, including drafting of the programme and organization of consultations in partner countries, was supported by the EU technical assistance project ENI CBC Support to Preparation of Programmes (SPP). Comments from the EU technical assistance project INTERACT ENPI also have been incorporated.

Summary of programme strategy

As a result of the completed analytical and consultation process, the Black Sea Basin programme focuses on two ENI CBC thematic objectives, contributing to two overarching strategic objectives, as defined in ENI CBC Programming document 2014-2020:

  • Thematic Objective 1. Business and SME development, contributing to ENI CBC overarching strategic objective A. Promote economic and social development in regions on both sides of common borders
  • Thematic Objective 6. Environmental protection, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, contributing to ENI CBC overarching strategic objective B. Address common challenges in environment, public health, safety and security

Within these ENI CBC thematic objectives, participating countries have agreed a set of objectives and priorities for the Black Sea Basin programme, reflecting their specific circumstances and requirements, as presented in the table below.

Black Sea Basin ENI Cross-Border Cooperation programme 2014-2020 – Objectives and Priorities:

Overall objective

Specific objectives


ENI EU funding (provisional)

Improve the welfare of the people in the Black Sea basin regions through sustainable growth and joint environmental protection

1. Promote business and entrepreneurship within the Black Sea basin

1.1 Jointly promote business and entrepreneurship in the tourism and cultural sectors

€25.34 million

1.2 Increase cross-border trade opportunities and modernization in the agricultural and connected sectors

2. Promote coordination of environmental protection and joint reduction of marine litter in the Black Sea basin

2.1 Improve joint environmental monitoring

€18.80 million

2.2 Promote common awareness-raising and joint actions to reduce river and marine litter

A number of important elements for successful, sustained and inclusive cross-border cooperation are also supported as horizontal issues or modalities to be deployed across any of the priorities. They include:

  • ‘People-to-people’ actions
  • Promotion of local and regional good governance
  • Promotion of regional integration/coordination
  • The use and development of relevant information and communication technologies
  • Promotion of gender equality, and opportunities for youth.

To achieve its objectives, the programme awarded grants to CBC projects selected through calls for proposals.

Complementarity of support is essential to ensure the best use of resources and the greatest results for the eligible regions and stakeholders. Beyond ensuring further consistency with other initiatives supported by the EU or at regional/national level during programme implementation, the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC programme looks also for complementarities with other key cooperation frameworks within the Black Sea Basin region and by other donors.

  • Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS): assists the MA, JMC, AA and the SC in carrying out their respective duties;
  • Selection Committee (SC): supervises the evaluation and selection of the project proposals received during calls and issues recommendations for award decisions to JMC.

Participating countries, core regions and Programme area

ENI CBC Programming document provides that the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin (BSB) programme includes the following ‘Participating countries’:

  • EU Member States: Bulgaria, Greece and Romania
  • Partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine
  • Candidate country: Turkey
  • Russian Federation

ENI CBC Programming document also provides that the following countries or NUTS II (or equivalent) territorial units form the core eligible area of the Black Sea Basin Programme: 

  • Romania: Sud-Est
  • Bulgaria: Severoiztochen, Yugoiztochen
  • Greece: Kentriki Makedonia, Anatoliki Makedonia Thraki
  • Turkey: TR10 (İstanbul), TR21 (Tekirdağ, Edirne, Kırklareli), TR42 (Kocaeli, Sakarya, Düzce, Bolu, Yalova), TR81 (Zonguldak, Karabük, Bartın), TR82 (Kastamonu, Çankırı, Sinop), TR83 (Samsun, Tokat, Çorum, Amasya) and TR90 (Trabzon, Ordu, Giresun, Rize, Artvin, Gümüşhane)
  • Russia: Rostov Oblast, Krasnodar Krai, Adygea Republic
  • Ukraine: Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporosh’ye and Donetsk Oblasts, Crimea Republic, Sevastopol
  • Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan: the whole country