The Black Sea region, the bridge between Europe and Asia, has become very dynamic and draws ever more attention to it. As an energy and transport hub, including two new EU member states and the debate on Turkish EU accession lingering, the region plays an important role for the EU as well as Euro-Atlantic interests. The region’s prospects to grow and thrive, however, are at risk. The development of the Black Sea region is hampered e.g. by frozen conflicts, young democracies and insufficient border controls nourishing illegal migration and organised crime. Yet, cooperation among the Black Sea states which is needed to tackle these obstacles is only in its infancy.

The conference “Black Sea Synergy” will provide the space to voice critical views on these issues. The gathering of key experts and decision makers will offer an opportunity to develop new ideas on future European and transatlantic relations with the Black Sea region, stepping up conflict resolution and cooperation initiatives as well as dealing with energy security.

Conference languages: Ukrainian and English (simultaneous translation)


Sunday, October 21

Arrival in Odessa

Press Conference,
Project Presentation
(Odessa City Hall, Dumska Ploshcha 1)
Nico Lange, KAS Ukraine
Jan Piekło, PAUCI
Eduard Gurvits, Odessa City Mayor (tbc)

Opening Discussion
(Odessa City Hall, Dumska Ploshcha 1)
Public Podium Discussion with Odessa auditorium
Moderation: Volodymyr Dubovyk, Center for International Studies, National Mechnikov University, Odessa
Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs
Erdoğan Işcan, Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine (tbc)
Ian Boag, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine
Andriy Veselovsky, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
Eduard Gurvits, Odessa City Mayor (tbc)
(Restaurant “Red Sails”)

followed by: Odessa Night Walk

Monday, October 22

Boarding, Border Formalities, Customs Control

Conference Opening
Steering Committee

Key Note Speech from European Commission
Janos Herman, EC RELEX

Panel 1: EU-Policies in the Black Sea Region, European Neighbourhood Policy and Turkish Accession
Moderation: Jan Piekło, PAUCI
Ian Boag, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine
Fabrizio Tassinari, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Copenhagen University, Associate Research Fellow at the Centre
for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels
Rainer Lindner, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Traian Hristea, Ambassador of Romania to Ukraine
Panel 2: Black Sea Business – Trade Cooperation and Integration
Moderation: Antoni Podolski, Center for International Relations, Warsaw
Panayotis Gavras, Black Sea Trade & Development Bank, Policy and Strategy Department, Greece
Victor Yanovsky, Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BSEC Business Council (tbc)

Lunch Break

Ship Departure from Odessa

Panel 3: Energy Supply Security
Moderation: Krzysztof Bobinski, President of Poland-EU Foundation
André Mernier, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat
Sergei Konoplyov, Harvard Black Sea Security Program
Sergiy Herman, Director of the European Integration and International Cooperation Department at the Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry (tbc)
Panel 4: Security and Frozen Conflicts in Wider Black Sea Region
Moderation: Oleksandr Sushko, Center for Peace, Conversion and Foreign Policy
Levon Zourabian, International Crisis Group
Mihail Ionescu, PfP Greater Black Sea Regional Working Group, Institute for Political Studies in Defense and Military History, Bucharest
NN, United States Institute of Peace (tbc)

Evening of the Nations

Tuesday, October 23

Common Breakfast/Brunch

Morning Debates: Views from Black Sea Countries
Moderated Talk Show with Journalists and Country Representatives
Moderation: Thomas de Waal, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), London
Ramaz Kvatadze, Executive Director of the Georgian Research and Educational Networking Association GRENA
Gayane Novikova, Director of the Center for Strategic Analysis, Yerevan
Yaşar Yakış, Former Turkish Foreign Minister, Chairman of the EU Committee in the Turkish Parliament
Eden Mamut, Black Sea Universities Network - Center for Advanced Engineering Sciences, Romania
The Final Word: Black Sea Synergy
Moderation: Nico Lange, KAS Ukraine
Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs
James Sherr, Conflict Studies Research Centre, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom
Erdoğan Işcan, Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine (tbc)

Snacks, Break

Arrival in Istanbul, Deboarding

Press Conference for Turkish Media

Istanbul Discussion Evening

Closing Reception

Official end of the conference.

Friday, October 26

Ship Departure from Istanbul port

Saturday, October 27

Arrival in Odessa, Deboarding

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