This year, the conference will also have a stronger inter and intra-regional dimension, focusing to a greater degree on the existing and future common projects among the countries neighboring the Black Sea, but also from the Western Balkans. The Forum will build on the successful 2018 edition (the Report can be found at www.aspeninstitute.ro), elevating its impact and relevance to the next level.

Constanta is the natural place for a multi-regional, multi-dimensional, multi-stakeholder conversation on best methods to unleash the business, trade and investment potential of the Danube and Black Sea basins, in either energy, infrastructure, logistics, trade, technology or maritime and river transportation. As a result, in addition to the conference, a workshop focusing on concrete projects will be organized, gathering representatives from the regional Governments and local municipalities, national and international financial institutions, consultancy agencies and NGOs and academia.

After a successful presidency of the EU Council, Romania continues its presence in the trio of presidencies with Finland and Croatia, and is currently chairing the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (SUERD). The Constanta Forum will take place at a moment when negotiations on the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be at their fullest, an excellent occasion to put forward a number of viable transnational projects initiated at national or sub-national levels by either government or independent private actors.

Organized by the Aspen Institute Romania, the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund and the Constanta City Hall, the Forum will benefit partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Transportation of Romania. Institutional actors like European Commission, the European Parliament, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EBRD will continue their active participation at the Constanta Forum, alongside high level political and private sector representatives from the Danube and Black Sea countries , other countries in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

A number of media partnerships and an active communication strategy will offer the Constanta Danube – Black Sea Economic Opportunities Forum the appropriate national and international coverage.

 

Agenda

September 12, 2019

19.30 – 21.30 Speakers dinner

September 13, 2019

09.30 – 10.00 Registration

10.00 – 10.45 Opening remarks

Mircea Geoana, Chairman Aspen Institute Romania
Decebal Fagadau, Mayor of Constanta

Daniel Suciu, Deputy Prime-Minister, Minister for Regional Development and Public Administration (TBC)

10.45 – 11.30 Panel I: Unleashing the business, trade and investment potential of the Danube and Black Sea basins

                        After a successful presidency of the EU Council, Romania continues its presence in the trio of presidencies with Finland and Croatia and is currently chairing the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (SUERD). Constanta is the natural place for a multi-regional, multi-dimensional, multi-stakeholder conversation. Thus, this panel will focus on a business – to – business approach on actual projects that can contribute to the economic development of the surrounding regions.

Ramona Manescu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Romania (TBC)

Charlina Vitcheva, Deputy Director-General, Joint Research Center
Daniela Jovanovic, Member of the Executive Committee, Danube Civil Society Forum
Mikko Lohikoski, Strategy Coordinator, Union of the Baltic Cities (TBC)

11.30 – 11.45 Coffee break

11.45 – 12.30 Panel II: Can the region become an energy, transport and digital hub for Europe and Eurasia?

                        Romania, through Constanta, and the whole Pontic-Danubian bassin can become a Gateway from East to West and North to South but the region continues to be one of the least competitive in Europe. How can we unleash the full regional potential in energy, transport and digitization? Which are the key obstacles, bottlenecks, policies and enablers allowing the macro-region to leapfrog and put its geography to work?

Razvan Cuc, Minister for Transportation Romania (TBC)

Bogdan Belciu, Partner, Management Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Razvan Nicolescu, Central Europe Sector Leader on gas, oil & chemical, Deloitte
Mehmet Ogutcu, Founder and CEO, Global Resources Partnership

12.30 – 12.45 Coffee break

12.45 – 13.15 Conversation with:

13.15 – 14.00 Panel III: Connecting SEE

                        The panel will focus on consolidating the natural synergies at the nexus of this important juncture of the European and Eurasian corridors and economic blocks. The negotiations on the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the InvestEU programme represent an excellent occasion to put forward a number of viable transnational projects initiated at national or sub-national levels by either government or independent private actors.

Vice-President, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB)
Mark Davis, Country Director, BERD Romania
Lara Tassan Zanin, Head of Office, BEI Romania

14.00 – 14.15 Conclusions