In terms of policy dialogue (and underlying policies), the Black Sea region is addressed by a rather large number of policies, policy dialogue fora and instruments:
- The EU – Black Sea Synergy, at a more general policy level (EEAS);
- The EU – EaP Panel on Research and Innovation: a recently launched panel (Nov. 2013) involving representatives from all the EaP countries, EU MS and the EC;
- The EU instruments ENI (for the EaP countries) and IPA (for Turkey);
- The BSEC Working Group on S&T involving EU MS and other Black Sea countries, which has its own dynamic, adopting and implementing specific multi-annual Action Plans for S&T.
- Other fora involving (sub-national) regions, Parliaments, etc.
In that context, BSH has provisioned for taking all these policies and fora into account, and actively cooperating with them so as to inform and, wherever possible and necessary, to involve them with a view to ensure a maximum impact and follow-up of the project’s actions and achievements. It would be ineffective for this type of project to work independently and it would be unrealistic (and counterproductive) to expect a specific policy dialogue format that would match the BSH’s target region. However, the BSH project as a whole certainly possesses its own autonomy, strength and pertinence in addressing every specific goal set in the call for proposals. Nevertheless, since BSH is targeting a region where several other STI international cooperation projects have been launched and are recently completed or are still under implementation, it is important not only to avoid overlaps or duplications but furthermore to build on such projects and push their achievements forward.
Among such projects one should mention in particular:
- The IncoNet EaP project “STI International Cooperation Network for Easter Partnership countries” targeting all the EaP countries, launched in 2013 and involving a series of concrete activities with an important synergetic potential to the ones under BSH.
- The BILAT-Ukr*aina project “Enhancing the BILATeral S&T Partnership with UKRraine * Advanced INnovative Approach”, addressing the EU – Ukraine cooperation, which was launched in 2012.
- The BS-ERANET project ‘Networking on Science and Technology in the Black Sea region’ that successfully launched a joint/co-funded call for proposals (end of 2010);
- The IncoNet EECA project ‘S&T International Cooperation Network for Eastern European and Central Asian Countries’ covering all the ex-Soviet Union countries, which ended in 2012;
- Other structural (e.g. ERA-NET RUS plus or SEE-ERA.NET plus) or thematic projects (such as PROMITHEAS).
The links to the aforementioned projects targeting the Black Sea region are efficiently established through the participation of key partners involved in them in the BSH consortium, among which we can mention the Coordinators of the IncoNet EaP, BILAT-Ukr*aina and IncoNet EECA projects. As a result, BSH builds on the achievements of the previous projects, continuing from where they left off, and proposing additional innovative actions not addressed by past projects.
In terms of policy dialogue, BSH aims to address all the relevant policy dialogue fora from the beginning of the project in order to establish a two-way communication: to inform the policy makers about the objectives, results and achievements of the project and, vice-versa, to receive guidance and support for a successful implementation and/or follow-up of its actions.