Albania, founding member of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC), pays special attention to regional cooperation and highly acknowledges the role of BSEC for the interconnection and sectorial cooperation among members states of the Organization. As of January 2020, Albania will hold the mandate of the BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office.
The outbreak, global spread and the return of the second wave of the COVID 19 pandemic brought unprecedented consequences throughout the socio-economic sphere of the entire region and within BSEC member countries, challenging national capacities and testing international cooperation, as well as within the BSEC organization.
Albania’s actions in its capacity as BSEC Chairmanship will aim at deepening and coordinating the cooperation among member states for finding joint solutions and unanimously addressing the wide range of economic and social consequences of the pandemic, aiming the faster and more sustainable recovery of the member states economies. This recovery may be achieved more thoroughly through advancing our interaction with European Union, while deepening our common efforts for better results in the fields of tourism, cultural heritage and infrastructure.
Albania’s Chairmanship motto, “Coming together for a sustainable post COVID era” illustrates Albanian’s conviction that the transition to a more sustainable economic and social future is naturally interconnected with a more concrete and targeted cooperation among BSEC member states. Consequently, during our Chairmanship, Albania will comprehensively work together with the rest of the member states and international partners, in order to achieve significant results for our common challenges, through joint, coordinated and all-inclusive measures.
- MAIN OBJECTIVES:
The Albanian Chairmanship’s major objective is to increase the range of influence and targeted effects of the Organization for its Member States, by ensuring that the primary objectives pursued will be the continued improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Organization.
In this regard, Albania will orient its work towards finding all-inclusive solutions for the current wide challenges that BSEC member states are facing and that are further exacerbated by the pandemic.
Indeed, Albania will take advantage of the assistance which will be provided by the Secretariat and the successful experience of Romania’s last Chairmanship, in order to promote the most, the Organization’s founding objectives and economic program, while further pushing the internal discussion for the revitalization of the Organization.
- SECTORAL PRIORITIES:
- Tourism: Tourism composes one of the most important pillars for some of BSEC’s member states economies. In this line, the Albanian Chairmanship will deepen the efforts carried out so far for promoting BSEC’s member states touristic attractions, aiming the promotion of the whole BSEC region as a leading tourist destination among worldwide preferences. In this line, we intend to encourage the cooperation and coordination among member states, to develop a comprehensive package of touristic options that go beyond the classic tourism of visiting sea and mountain areas or archeological sites, by adding variety such us gastronomic and medical tourism, or tourism based on the exploitation of the (common) historical past. These efforts would be meaningless without the close cooperation with the competent international organizations, through which may be achieved a wide scale enrichment of the touristic options, which will eventually lead to more jobs in new areas which are not fully developed.
- Transport and Infrastructure: Albanian Chairmanship considers the areas of transport and infrastructure as key areas for the economic sustainability and development of the wider region and as such, we seek to continue the progress made by previous Chairmanships regarding the interconnectivity of BSEC’s member states on these specific areas.
In this regard, Albania will further promote the efforts made so far regarding compiling commonly accepted rules concerning transport and product regulations and border crossing, by taking advantage of new available technologies.
- Cultural Heritage:BSEC member states are rich with regard to their national cultural heritage, but the cooperation for its promotion and the interaction among them in this field, is still faint. In addition to that, the climate change and its consequences upon each country’s national heritage, makes it as urgent as ever, the imposed cooperation. In this context, it is Albania’s Chairmanship intention to build upon the work which is already done for this very important issue, and further elaborate with our BSEC partners and international allies, the possible means for minimizing the impact of climate change for our cultural heritage, with the support of environmental friendly technology.
- Sustainable Development Goals: Taking into consideration the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, Albanian Chairmanship will seek to keep up with the good efforts for achieving a broader participation of its member states for the wider implementation of SDGs.
In this context, Albania intends to maximize the communication and encourage the participation of all the necessary partners within our countries, mainly with the business communities, civil society, academia and local governance, in order to identify and exchange the best practices for the implementation of SDGs.
- Good governance:Albania’s Chairmanship will seek to address and strengthen the debate among member states for the need of good governance, as well as the exchange of experiences in this area, since we strongly believe that good governance plays a fundamental role for improving the living conditions in our countries and fulfill the expectations of our citizens.
- Interaction BSEC-EU: Considering the challenges of our region and the need for e broader engagement in dealing with them, Albanian Chairmanship is fully, firmly and demonstrably determined to develop a closer interaction with the European Union, in order to achieve better and oriented results in our common efforts of tackling the social-economic pressure caused by the pandemic.
Albania strongly believes that taking advantage of the current engagement of the EU in the wider region, by further strengthening this interaction for commonly beneficiary projects, may be a cornerstone for achieving the transition to a more prosperous post COVID19 future.
This cooperation shall go beyond EU, as the Albanian Chairmanship aims to keep a close relationship with all BSEC’s partners and bodies, while work together with the interest groups of each member state.