Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea
The Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) for the Black Sea is a sea basin initiative to enhance regional cooperation for achieving a sustainable Blue Economy in the Black Sea. It is developed in the broader framework of the Black Sea Synergy.
The CMA for the Black Sea recognises the need for coordinated approach to address common maritime and blue economy challenges. It is the first initiative of its kind in the region, resulting from a bottom-up process initiated by the countries involved and backed by the European Commission.
CMA for the Black Sea is a unique cooperation framework for the Blue Economy, reinforcing regional dialogue between participating countries and stakeholders to jointly address the challenges and opportunities of blue economy sectors in the area, ensuring environmental sustainability while fostering growth and promoting blue economy projects.
The CMA is complemented by its scientific pillar, the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea (SRIA), that provides valuable inputs for science-based decision-making.
With the CMA, the Black Sea region joins the rest of the EU sea basins initiatives in setting a basin-wide initiative for more sustainable, economic growth based on the sustainable use of maritime and marine sectors.
The Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) for the Black Sea is a partnership between seven countries - the Republic of Bulgaria, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Türkiye and Ukraine.
The CMA for the Black Sea was endorsed on 21 May 2019, by the Ministers of the seven Black Sea Countries, as a follow-up to the commitment of the 2018 Burgas Ministerial Declaration “Towards a Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea”.
In response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, the participation of the Russian Federation in the CMA has been suspended, as well as all forms of cooperation at regional and national level with Russian stakeholders.
The Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea sets the following goals to help generate sustainable growth in coastal regions:
- Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems;
- A competitive, innovative and sustainable blue economy for the Black Sea, and
- Fostering Investment in the Black Sea blue economy.
These goals are further declined into 10 priorities and actions for the promotion of enhanced cooperation on maritime affairs and blue economy among the participating countries.
The Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) for the Black Sea sets in place procedures for its governance and operations:
Political coordination of the CMA is ensured through Ministerial meetings. They provide political guidance, review progress and achievements, and revise priorities, as necessary.
Operational coordination of the CMA is ensured by the Steering Group comprised of senior officials of participant countries. The Steering Group provides guidance and necessary support to ensure the expected results are achieved, and monitors its implementation.
National Coordinators appointed for CMA implementation by each of the participant countries as well as the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the EU Commission (DG MARE) are full members of the CMA Steering Group. Regional and international organisations active in the Black Sea – including Black Sea Commission (BSC), Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), Managing Authority Interreg NEXT Black Sea Basin Programme, World Bank, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) – act as consultative and observer bodies, complementing and mutually reinforcing the work of the Steering Group.
The Steering Group may be supported by technical working groups comprised of representatives with technical expertise designated by the participating countries.
To support the implementation of the EU sea basins initiatives, the European Commission has established an Assistance Mechanism to the sea basin strategies. The CMA implementation is supported by a specific team dedicated to the Black Sea, the Black Sea Assistance Mechanism (BSAM).
As a practical support arm, BSAM works closely with the Steering Committee and its technical working groups and offers operational, logistical and administrative support.
BSAM assists stakeholders at regional and national level to implement events, develop projects, provides guidance on funding opportunities on Blue Economy.
The work of BSAM central Team is complemented with local efforts of National Hubs of each participant country.
CMA implementation is made possible by pooling and alignment of available and future funding opportunities by participating countries, the European Commission, international financial institutions and other donors.
The Black Sea Assistance Mechanism is supported by the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF). It is implemented by the European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Commission.
Participating countries, supported by the BSAM and the National Hubs, are called to use the CMA as a tool for working on joint sustainable blue economy projects, including bankable investment projects, in line with the goals, priorities and actions of the Agenda.