The Action Plan has had as its aim to:

  • Re-confirm the political will for cooperation in S&T among the countries of the BSEC region and also enhance the cooperation with the EU, contributing therefore to the opening of the European Research Area;

  • Define the most promising fields and priorities for collaboration in research and innovation among the BSEC countries extending also to other New Independent States (“broader BSEC”);

  • Sketch out an early version of a structured cooperation mechanism at the BSEC regional level in the sphere of Science and Technology and procedures for interaction with the relevant departments of the European Commission.

To achieve its goal the project included preparatory work on a draft Action Plan and the organisation of two events: a High Level Officials meeting and a Ministerial Meeting.
Objectives of the ActionPlan-BS

Preparation of the background material on which the political dialogue would be based. This activity included a review of all the relevant initiatives undertaken at a regional level over the past few years, an analysis of the conclusions resulting from the work done up to then and the preparation of a working document (“draft Action Plan”) that was submitted to, and discussed with, the relevant authorities in every BSEC country;

Organisation of two meetings of High Level Officials (HLO) involving key players in the design and implementation of Research and Technology policies of the BSEC countries together with experts and EU officials. During these meetings the draft Action Plan was discussed and improved, in order to be presented to the Ministers for consideration and endorsement. In addition, a draft Declaration of the Ministers was prepared. Ukraine, as country coordinator of the “Working Group on Science and Technology” hosted the first meeting in Kyiv, 11-12 July 2005 while the second one was hosted by the Hellenic Republic in Athens, 27 September 2005.

Organisation of a Meeting of the Ministers Responsible for Research and Technology of the BSEC Member States. The purpose of the Meeting was to give expression to the political will to expand cooperation in the field of S&T and to adopt the Action Plan for the region as well as the draft Declaration. EU officials and other key players in the region were invited, along with representatives of relevant international institutions. The Meeting was held in Athens, 28 September 2005, where both the Action Plan and the Declaration were adopted.

Follow-up Activities

After the adoption of the Joint Declaration and the Action Plan by the Ministers responsible for Research and Technology of the BSEC member states (Athens, 28 September 2005), and the subsequent endorsement of those documents by the 13th Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Chisinau, 28 October 2005), the ICBSS requested a four month extension to the contract of the project in order to carry out follow-up activities, in collaboration with the BSEC PERMIS and the Country Coordinator of the BSEC Working Group on Cooperation in Science and Technology (Ukraine). The request was granted by the European Commission.

As specifically provided for in the BSEC “Action Plan”, a Task Force meeting was held on 7 February 2006, in Bucharest, with the participation of representatives of the BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office (Romania), the following Chairmanship-in-Office (Russian Federation), the Country Coordinator (Ukraine), the BSEC PERMIS, and the ICBSS to prepare a draft Work Programme for consideration by the BSEC Working Group on Cooperation in Science and Technology.

This activity was followed by the meeting of the BSEC Working Group (Athens, 21-22 March 2006) where the Work Programme was considered, and forwarded for approval to the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest, 26 April 2006).

Workshop on "POLICY ISSUES IN S&T"

The ICBSS, in order to further contribute to the implementation of the adopted BSEC Action Plan, organised a Workshop on “Policy Issues in S&T” that was held in Athens, on 7-8 December 2006. The aim of this Workshop was to bring together policy makers and representatives of the research communities from the BSEC Member States in order to exchange information and to openly discuss critical issues on science and technology policy setting in order to identify good practices but also key needs that require particular attention and action.

The main areas for discussion were:
a) The re-organisation of research systems,
b) Research financing procedures and multi-annual programmes,
c) Evaluation/assessment procedures for projects, programmes, and institutions, and
d) Innovation issues.

A short report that summarised the views of the participants on the aforementioned issues, with a particular emphasis on the identification of the most important needs, was prepared “on the spot” and disseminated to the relevant authorities in the BSEC Member States for further consideration.

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