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Upon the initiative of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, on 14 February 2024, the First Meeting of the Presidents of the Academies of Sciences of the BSEC Member States with the participation of Rectors of leading Turkish universities, was held in Istanbul, and was attended by Mr. Fatih Dönmez, PABSEC Vice-President, Head of the PABSEC Turkish Delegation, Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, PABSEC Secretary General, Ms. Merve Kavakci, First Deputy Secretary General of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat, the representatives of the Academies of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the Black Sea Universities’ Network.

The participants, in a constructive working atmosphere, exchanged views on a wide range of issues of cooperation in the field of science and education among the countries of the Wider Black Sea Region. It was noted the stable dynamics of interaction with the aim to fully unlock the advantages of the member states within the frame of multilateral cooperation, that will contribute to the progressive development of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation as a whole based on the principles of mutual benefit and ensuring common prosperity.

The Meeting expressed mutual interest in further advancement of cooperation in the field of science and education in order to expand the potential of countries, enhance cooperation and exchange of knowledge, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels. It was underlined the importance of implementing new joint cooperation projects for training highly qualified personnel by leading higher education institutions, creating joint research and educational centres, implementing joint educational projects, supporting scientific research, expanding the scope of mutual exchanges in the field of science and education, implementing innovative formats of interaction in the field of digital education, strengthening science and education in the field of Artificial Intelligence, ensuring exchange for students, teachers and researchers, providing grants for joint scientific research, etc. At the same time, cooperation between academies of sciences allows scientists from different disciplines to combine experience and efforts, increase scientific potential and effectively meet complex contemporary challenges.

Representatives of the Academies of Sciences of the BSEC Member States expressed support for the achievement of the goals and objectives set forth in the program document for all BSEC Member States “Economic Agenda: Towards a Sustainable Future of the Wider Black Sea Area”, adopted at the 47th Meeting of the BSEC Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 15 December 2023.

The participants emphasized the importance of the present meeting for strengthening partnerships and exchanging experiences from different countries and expressed confidence that it is necessary to further deepen relations in the scientific and humanitarian spheres. It was decided to hold such meetings every year.

The Participants welcomed the proposal of the Istanbul University to hold the next meeting in Istanbul in 2025 in cooperation with the Black Sea Universities’ Network.


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