ISSN 2330-717X

EU’s Black Sea plans need fresh money

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The EU should launch a fully-functional strategy to bring peace and stability to the Black Sea region and secure energy supplies, including a specific budget line and more EU human resources, MEPs said on Thursday.

The Black Sea Strategy needs a specific EU budget line, which should prioritise funding for small-scale development projects and cross-border co-operation, says a report by Traian Ungureanu (EPP, RO). Other top priorities should be the stabilising the region, ensuring respect for human rights, managing migration, improving energy security and promoting environmental and social development.

MEPs also suggest enhancing the visibility of the strategy’s future action plan, by holding regular ministerial meetings between the EU and Black Sea countries (Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). Turkey and Russia would be very welcome partners in this regional co-operation, they add.

The EU’s three Black Sea Member States are Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.

Conflict prevention

Parliament suggests that the EU should develop “a conflict early warning system” which would help to build confidence in the region and prevent the escalation of violence. This system would focus on specific issues, such as public disclosure of arms sales and naval military activities. Here MEPs voice particular concern about the extension of the lease for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea.

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