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Black Sea Basin (NEXT)

Region's countries

Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Türkiye and Ukraine. 

 

Policy framework

1.     Transnational cooperation programme

The cooperation framework of the Interreg NEXT Black Sea Basin programme (NEXT- Black Sea Basin, 2021-2027), approved in 2023, stems from the previous cooperation frameworks implemented in this region, namely the ENPI CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2007-2013 and the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020. 

Within the framework of the European Union’s Cohesion Policy, the Interreg NEXT Black Sea Basin programme will support cooperation across regions and countries in this area until the end of 2027. The Programme belongs to strand B ‘Transnational cooperation’ within Interreg’s external dimension. It has a total budget of 72.28 mil. Euro, which relies on the support of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), the NDICI – Global Europe (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument) and IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance). 

The overall goal of the programme is to further deepen the cross-border cooperation in the Black Sea Basin, by focusing on 

  • the development of research and innovation capacity of the area,  
  • climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention, and 
  • the protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity, and green infrastructure. 

The focus on fighting climate change is spelled out both in terms of mitigation and adaptation objectives. The programme envisages “A greener, low-carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe by promoting clean and fair energy transition, green and blue investment, circular economy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, risk prevention and management, and sustainable urban mobility” In particular, the program  seeks to  promote “climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention and resilience, taking into account ecosystem based approaches and enhancing protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure, including in urban areas, and reducing all forms of pollution” .

 

2.     Macro-region strategies

Two other transnational regions partially overlap with the Black Sea Basin region: the Danube Area (including Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova), and the Mediterranean Area, (including Bulgaria). Both transnational cooperation initiatives entail actions in the field of climate change adaptation.  

 

3.     International conventions and other cooperation initiatives

The coastal and marine environment of the Black Sea is protected by the Bucharest Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution, signed in 1992 by Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria and Romania. Although the Convention does not mention climate change adaptation among its priorities, it aims to mitigate several environmental problems that are expected to be negatively affected by climate change, such as biodiversity and marine ecosystems preservation. 

The main economic cooperation framework in the area is the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). BSEC has adopted in December 2017 its own climate change adaptation strategy, which includes the following priorities: 

  • Promoting regional cooperation in combating climate change across the BSEC area. The focus of this priority is mainly on coordinating and sharing knowledge and information relevant for adaptation among BSEC member states.  
  • Catalysing additional funding though working towards effective fiduciary standards and mobilising partners to formulate climate response projects.   
  • Facilitate dialogue and partnership and raise public awareness to help build climate resilience in society and strengthen the green economy.  
  • Foster the development of institutional capacity building about climate change issue within institutions across the region. 

Moreover, the Black Sea basin is covered by the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA), endorsed in May 2019. The CMA for the Black Sea supports the protection of marine ecosystems and sustainability of blue economy in the area.  

Among the specific goals of its scientific pillars, the Black Sea strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA) promotes research providing new knowledge to mitigate the impacts of global climate change and anthropogenic stressors. 

 

4.      Adaptation strategies and plans

No adaptation strategies and plans have been issued at the Black Sea level. However, the INTERREG Programme document put forward a number of strategic priorities for projects to be financed in the area of climate change adaptation, namely: 

  1. Promotion of innovation for improved tools for smart observing, monitoring and accurate environmental forecasting. 
  2. Measures to prevent and mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Black Sea region, including on water quality and quantity
  3. Addressing environmental hazards: coastal erosion, landslides, sea level rise, extreme events, nonindigenous species (NIS), invasive alien species (IAS), flooding, and drought in connection with climate change
  4. Development and improvement of mechanisms of monitoring and early warning for natural or/and man-made disasters
  5. Development and implementation of green recovery actions, contributing to climate change adaptation in the Black Sea Basin area building on lessons learnt and best practices

 

Examples of ENI CBC programme's projects funded in the 2014–2020 period

New projects in the framework of Interreg Next-Black Sea Basin are still under development. Relevant projects financed within the previous programme, namely the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020 are described below.  

 AGREEN  (Cross-Border Alliance for Climate-Smart and Green Agriculture in the Black Sea Basin, 2020-2023) builds upon the concept of Climate-smart agriculture, an approach informing integrated actions towards the transformation of agricultural systems, supporting innovation and ensuring food security in a changing climate. The project’s mission is to “bring coherence within the actions taken against climate change and restore environmental stability, economic and food security for generations to come”. Project partners are based in Bulgaria, Romania, Türkiye, Georgia, Armenia and Greece. 

COPREVENT (Cooperation for disaster prevention and environmental monitoring in BSB, 2021-2023) deals with floods and forest fires prevention and damage reduction, and involves partners in Bulgari , Greece, Republic of Moldova and Türkiye. 

IASON (Invasive Alien Species Observatory and Network Development for the Assessment of Climate Change Impacts in Black Sea Deltaic Protected Areas, 2020-2023) deals with the assessment of  climate-induced risks for biodiversity and ecosystems in river deltas in the region. Project partners are based in Ukraine, Romania, Türkiye, Georgia, and Greece 

HYDROECONEX (Creating a system of innovative transboundary monitoring of the transformations of the Black Sea river ecosystems under the impact of hydropower development and climate change, 2018-2021) dealt with developing a shared approach to a monitoring system for river ecosystems in presence of hydropower infrastructures in a changing climate, and with developing a strategy for bilateral water cooperation on joint monitoring of trans-boundary rivers in presence of hydro-power. Project partners were based in Romania, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.