13 November, 2006
The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) has established closer links with the European Union due to moves by its rotating Greek presidency, Deputy Foreign Minister Euripidis Stylianidis said on Friday.
"BSEC's Greek presidency was dynamic, with its main aim being closer ties with the EU. Due to the presidency's moves, the climate changed in the EU, which has now taken a positive view of institutional rapprochement with Black Sea countries on a par with the Euro-Mediterranean area," Stylianidis said.
He was introducing the first annual lecture at the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS), which was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization to provide independent research and training. The Athens-based centre is affiliated to BSEC, also serving as its think-tank.
Addressing the ICBSS, Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, secretary general of BSEC PERMIS, noted the need for statutory reform of the organization to improve operations.
Istanbul-based BSEC began operations in 1999, launched by eleven countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. With the entry of Serbia and Montenegro in April 2004, the organization’s member states increased to twelve.
Source: Athens News Agency