EU highlights increasing strategic importance of Black Sea
17 June 2019

On 17 June 2019 the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the EU's engagement to the Black Sea regional cooperation.

A statement on the Council website said that "the Council reaffirms its long-standing commitment to fostering prosperity, stability, and resilience in the Black Sea area. It emphasises the increasing strategic importance of the Black Sea area for the EU, and calls for enhanced EU involvement in the regional cooperation, with the Black Sea Synergy initiative at its basis. In particular, it highlights the importance of harnessing the new opportunities for economic development, resilience and connectivity in the region and beyond.

The Council remains concerned about the security challenges in the Black Sea area. In this context, it reiterates that respect for international law, including the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, including freedom of navigation, as well as EU policy decisions and its non-recognition policy on the illegal annexation of Crimea, are fundamental to the EU's approach to regional cooperation in the Black Sea area."

The conclusions document says that the Council acknowledges that "enhanced Black Sea regional cooperation would contribute to the implementation of the EU Strategy for Connecting Europe and Asia, and its four priorities in terms of transport, energy, digital and people-to-people." "The Council underlines the importance of developing a communication plan to support the EU's contribution to regional cooperation in the Black Sea area, and to increase the visibility of the work by the EU and its Member States."

You can read the full document here