Sustainable Connectivity in the Balkans and Black Sea Region
The risk of a connectivity conflict becoming the next Great Game in the Balkans and Black Sea region is real. If, instead, countries in the region are to capitalize on their geography and history as a trading hub, all stakeholders need to invest in furthering political will, money, cooperation and trust. The Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF), convened in Athens in May 2018, is a noteworthy building block in this process.
In her Policy Brief author Maaike Okano-Heijmans details a key conclusion of the Forum, echoed in the EU–China Summit statement of July 2018: the call for a long-term commitment to intraregional cooperation and sustainable connectivity as a crucial element to strengthen economic development and growth that benefits all people in the Balkans and Black Sea countries in the long term.