BSEC initially started as an informal Intergovernmental Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and was transformed into an international financial organization on May 1, 1999; on the same date the Charter of the United Nations, which was signed in June 1998 in Yalta (4-5/6/1998) entered into force.
Twelve countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldavia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) are participating in BSEC, whose headquarters are in Istanbul. At the same time, nine countries have an observer status (France, Germany, USA, Israel, Italy, Croatia, Republic of Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Tunisia).
The intergovernmental cooperation in the context of BSEC mainly focuses in the fields of organized crime, natural disasters, energy, facilitation of products’ transfer and customs’ wordings, promotion of small and medium – sized firms (SMEs) and the protection of the Black Sea’s marine environment.
The following have been signed within the context of the collaboration of the member states in the field of Civil Protection:
• Agreement on the collaboration in the field of assistance provided in emergency cases and immediate response in natural and technological disasters among the countries of the BSEC (15/4/1999, Sochi, Russia)
• Additional Protocol of the above-mentioned Agreement (20/10/2005, Kiev, Ukraine)