5th IBSS Symposium

The Black Sea region as an influential crossroad between East and West:

A path towards extroversion

Athens, Greece

2 – 4 July 2012


In its fifth year, the International Black Sea Symposium (IBSS) project builds on the success and positive impact of its previous four editions and brings together the next generation of stakeholders with an interest in the Black Sea area. The 5th International Black Sea Symposium on “The Black Sea region as an influential crossroad between East and West: a path towards extroversion” will be held in Athens, Greece, from 2 July to 4 July 2012. The ICBSS will welcome young professionals and international experts, for an intensive course on Black Sea issues. The event’s working language will be English.

More about the 5th IBSS

This year’s Symposium focuses on a new dimension, the extroversion of the Black Sea area as an influential crossroad between East and West, referring both to territorial and sectoral dimensions and acknowledging the need to shift the debate from the status of “selective closure” to the status of “openness of windows” in the era of Globalization.

The Black Sea region has always been a crossroad of political, economic and diversified societal cultures. In the present, it plays the role of an economic, geo-political and trade hub, and it serves as a crucial energy trade corridor connecting Asia with Europe. At the same time, specific interest for the Black Sea region with respect to energy and security is expressed by major global actors from both sides of the Atlantic (the USA and the EU), the neighboring countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South Caucasus, the Mediterranean Sea and the Far East (e.g. China, India, et. al.).

All the abovementioned elements form an extremely interesting ground in which many cooperation schemes and synergies have been promoted, but where also a number of acute problems still persist, such as trade barriers, insufficient energy security, illegal migration, “frozen” conflicts and environmental degradation.  

Within this framework, the Symposium highlights the relations of the Black Sea Region with three macro-territories /geographical areas that will be examined in three separate sessions: a) Europe, b) Atlantic Arc, c) East (Central Asia, South Caucasus and Far East).

All sessions will address common sectoral issues, concerning:

  1. Stability, Security and International Relations: institutions and actors
  2. Sustainable Economic Development: regional cooperation, trade, innovation, science and technology
  3. Energy: growth, financial crisis and energy security, energy exchanges and markets
  4. Environment: environmental governance, climate change, energy efficiency, alternative energy sources.

Enhancing stability, fostering economic cooperation, promoting energy security and integrating environmental aspects in all sectoral policies constitute the main priorities of the ICBSS aiming at fostering Sustainable Development in the Black Sea area in the future. Additionally, in the light of the 20th anniversary of the Organisation of BSEC, success stories of regional cooperation, as well as lost opportunities and future challenges, concerning the main institutions and actors involved in the Black Sea Region will be discussed.

In this context, the Symposium’s Agenda will be structured as follows:

  1. Introductive Session: The State of Art: Problems and challenges of the Black Sea Region
  2. Session I: The Black Sea Region and Europe
  3. Session II: The Black Sea Region and the Atlantic Arc
  4. Session III: The Black Sea Region looking East

In this regard, we invite young professionals (22-35 years old), such as policy-makers, academics, journalists, diplomats, Members of Parliament, entrepreneurs, civil society leaders and researchers (post docs and PhD candidates) of different backgrounds with expertise in these fields from around the world, to discuss, to exchange views and to enhance the dialogue among “domestic” and “external” knowledge. The three-day intensive course will consist of interactive sessions, with related reading material provided.

How to get involved

Young professionals with proficiency in English are welcome to apply until 30 May 2012. Registration Fees for participants will be 250 €. Accommodation, breakfast and one meal per day will be offered by the organizers. For more information on the application process please see the application form. All applicants should send their filled application form by e-mail to symposium@icbss.org or by fax to +30 210 324 2244.

Looking forward to seeing you in Athens!

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