The Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum – a Dynamic Debate Platform for the Region

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The Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum 2020 is going to be the fourth edition of an annual event tailored to support dialogue and expertise on the security challenges in the Black Sea and the Balkans. New Strategy Center, alongside the Ovidius University of Constanta and the Constanta Metropolitan Area, have been organizing the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2019, the Forum was held under the patronage of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, emphasizing the significance of the NATO-EU cooperation, and was developed through the strategic partnerships both with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania.

Co-sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Division of NATO throughout all its previous editions, the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum examined the security environment in the Black Sea and the Balkans, while pursuing objectives as increasing awareness about the importance of peace and stability in the two regions in a dynamic international context; identifying the actual security challenges, old and new, that the countries of the area have to face; exploring imaginative, rational and realistic solutions, tailored to the specific requirements of the two regions and aimed at mitigating emerging threats ranging from information warfare and cyberthreats and indicating the way forward and fostering active contacts and networking among decision makers, security analysts, academics, the civil society and the media. 

The conference is an excellent opportunity for officials representing the institutions with responsibilities in defence and foreign policy to connect and exchange viewpoints with experts, academics and representatives of the business sector. The networking platform fostered during this conference already proved effective by laying the first stone in other fruitful cooperation formats. Moreover, the dynamic event format is also addressed to the students of the ”Ovidius” University of Constanța and the ”Mircea cel Bătrân” Naval Academy. In this manner, we fulfil our goal of achieving a multi-faceted approach towards our topic, while also including the young generation in the discussion.

Having gained notoriety through the consistent and dynamic debates both during the discussion panels and the networking sessions, the forum benefits now from an increased visibility available in international, national and local media platforms. Regarded as a highly professional conference, the forum maintains both specific, in-depth formats as well as open sessions for press and public. By gathering a carefully curated list of attendees, the organizers ensure the appropriate participants for the timely and relevant topics.

Between 4th-6th of June 2020, in Constanța, together with Ovidius University, and the support of the Constanta Metropolitan Area Association, New Strategy Center will organize the fourth edition of the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum, a large event bringing to Romania academic and institutional experts from NATO and the European Union, the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Poland,  Spain, Greece, Turkey, Czech Republic, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria. The main aim of the forum in 2020 is to further consolidate the meaningful and in-depth analysis of the NATO and EU vulnerable neighbourhoods and security challenges in the Balkans and Black Sea region and the coherence of the Eastern Flank of NATO when facing classical and emerging security challenges.

The fourth edition of the conference aims to deepen awareness and promote a meaningful dialogue as it was the case for the previous editions by consolidating a complex network of experts, academic, officials and media representatives, the relevance of the conference gains significance in an everchanging security environment. By contributing to the regional and international dialogue, the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum tackles the much-needed exchange of ideas, comprehensive approach towards challenges, various analysis and joint solutions.