Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC)
Aims and areas of cooperation
Founded on 26 February 1993 in Istanbul as the parliamentary dimension of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), PABSEC aims to promote economic, political and cultural cooperation among the peoples of the Black Sea region with a view to making the region an area of stability, prosperity and peace within the new European architecture.
The Assembly concentrates its efforts on adopting recommendations on subjects of importance for the implementation of the projects of multilateral economic cooperation elaborated by the BSEC. They include consolidation of the rule of law, harmonisation of legislation, trade, small and medium-sized enterprises, customs and visa regulations, the BSEC free trade zone, avoidance of double taxation, financial and banking systems, transportation, communication, tourism, combating organised crime and corruption, law enforcement, combating human trafficking, and social and cultural issues such as cultural heritage, education, youth cooperation, university networks, the role of the mass media, social protection for pensioners, child protection, public health and the environment.
The development of regional cooperation is a key focus of PABSEC's work, while a further priority is establishing and cultivating relations with European assemblies, especially the European Parliament. During its presidency of PABSEC, the Hellenic Parliament launched an initiative for a colloquium of parliamentarians and experts on the “Parliamentary Perspective of a Wider Europe”, which took place in Athens on 25 October 2002.
Establishment and history
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) was created as a result of the major political changes which occurred in the late 1980s, when the nations of the Black Sea region re-emerged on the world stage. The search by the countries of the region for ways to meet the challenges of national development and European integration paved the way for them to join forces with a view to making the Black Sea region an area of stability, prosperity and peace. By building on what they had in common – geographic proximity and shared cultural and historical values – the countries of the region accelerated the establishment of bilateral and multilateral relations.
The Summit Declaration on Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Bosphorus Statement, signed on 25 June 1992, defined the fundamental principles and aims of the BSEC and officially created a new system of regional cooperation involving 11 countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.
Eight months later, the speakers of the parliaments of nine countries – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine – adopted the Declaration on the Establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC). Greece became a full member of the Assembly in June 1995, Bulgaria followed in June 1997, and since November 2004 Serbia (until 2006 Serbia and Montenegro) has also been a full member of PABSEC. The Parliamentary Assembly is now composed of 76 parliamentarians from the 12 member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). The Egyptian People’s Assembly, the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, the German Bundestag, the Assemblée Nationale and Senate of the French Republic, the Knesset of the State of Israel and the National Council of the Slovak Republic, as well as ten interparliamentary organisations, have observer status with PABSEC.