BBSF 2017: Think-Tank for economic growth and sustainable development for the Balkans and Black Sea region

The 1st edition of the Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum held in Serres-Greece on May 25th & 26th 2017, has been recognized as one of the most forward thinking vehicles for economic growth and sustainable development among the countries of the Balkans and the wider Black Sea region. The Forum has been proven to be a new think-tank at the cross section of public & business sectors, outlining current situation, quoting political indicators, navigating to growth and cooperation and monitoring the perspectives and SDGs towards 2030 of that region.

Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum 2017 brought together more than 300 delegates from International Institutions & Organizations, public officials, diplomats, businesses, entrepreneurs and academia, gaining inside information from 42 International quality and content-driven panelists (70% originating outside hosting country Greece) equally representing the Public, Institutional and Business sectors, who contributed to dialogue and debates fostering cross‐border cooperation, enhancing bilateral and multilateral relations, promoting best practices and business opportunities.

With regards to the regional cooperation, a Forum declaration on “Cultural Tourism, a key to Sustainable Development” was issued under the auspices of BSECCPMR, EBFthe support of UNWTO and UNESCO, and the contribution of Geo Routes Cultural Institute. The declaration is about developing a conceptual tourist model, seeking the interconnectivity of destinationswhich will be offering long-haul travelers the possibility at gaining explore & experience opportunities in a region of diversities and rich cultural heritage.

Furthermore the Forum highlighted Serres as new international conference destination, gave floor for the expansion of networking opportunities because of the consecutive after-conference social activities, offered a Business HUB open to the public where exhibitors strengthened their outreach to the local society and the visitors of Serres, whilst CPMR/Balkan & Black Sea Commission General Assembly was organized prior to Forum’s inauguration.

Photo material from BBSF2017 Sessions is here, whilst those of Social Activities here. A Reports Page will be soon available, at which Speaker’s presentations & videos, also the conclusions of Moderators will be listed on Forums’ official website.

Building further on 2017 positive outcome, Forum is getting prepared for next years’ edition. Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum 2018 Sessions will keep covering topics of intra-regional interest such as:

  1. EU Balkans & Black Sea Perspectives and SDGs towards 2030
  2. Economy, Growth & Development
  3. Maritime-Transportation-Infrastructures & Hubs
  4. Roads of Energy
  5. Women in leadership
  6. Agriculture, Environment & Use of sources
  7. Cultural & Sustainable Tourism
  8. Healthcare Industries (new session)
  9. Higher Education, Business Innovation (new session)


Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum roadmap towards 2018 is as following:

  • September 2017, 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF): Exhibiting at TIF about to promoting its Partners and Sponsors, also delivering a Session to highlight 2017 conclusions and announcing 2018 Hosting City
  • October 2017-April 2018: Stakeholders, panels, sponsors, partners arrangements
  • May 2018: Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum 2nd edition will be going live


States of the Region 2018 Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum© is concerned (in alphabetical order):  Albania – Armenia – Azerbaijan – Bosnia/Herzegovina – Bulgaria – Croatia – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Georgia – Greece – Moldova – Montenegro –  Kazakhstan (new entry) – Romania – Russian Federation – Serbia – Slovenia – Turkey – Ukraine.