Report Title: Advancing stability in the Black Sea Region
Rapporteur: Ulla SCHMIDT (Germany)
Once on the periphery of European consciousness, in recent years the Black Sea region reappeared on policymakers’ radar. Regional geopolitics are particularly affected by Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The Black Sea is also adjacent to and affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq. Furthermore, the region is plagued by “frozen,” or low-intensity, armed conflicts: Abkhazia and the occupied parts of Donbas are on the Sea, while Transnistria, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh are in the immediate vicinity. Black Sea countries periodically experience periods of political confrontation; the overall rise of hostility is noticeable, and urgent steps are needed to de-escalate tensions.