The Black Sea Economic Cooperation was established at a meeting of the Heads of State and Government of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in Istanbul on June 25, 1992. The BSEC Charter entered into force in May 1999.

In more than two decades of its activities, the BSEC has established itself as the sole fully-fledged international economic organization in the Black Sea region, becoming a unique mechanism for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between its Member States.

The BSEC highest governing body is the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which meets twice a year.

The BSEC permanent coordinating body, responsible for the ongoing activities of the Organization and its working groups, is the Committee of Senior Officials, which includes representatives of the foreign ministries of the Member States.

Practical cooperation in the Black Sea region is coordinated at the meetings of sectoral ministers of the BSEC Member States and by 18 specialized working groups.

There also exists a number of the BSEC related bodies, such as the Parliamentary Assembly of BSEC (PABSEC), the Business Council, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), the International Center for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS).

The BSEC Member States: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia (since 2004), Turkey and Ukraine.

The BSEC Observers: Austria, Belarus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Tunisia, and the United States, as well as the Energy Charter Secretariat, the International Black Sea Club, the Black Sea Commission and the European Commission.  

Sectoral Dialogue Partners: Hungary, Iran, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Montenegro, Slovenia, as well as the Black Sea International Ship Owners Association, the Black and Azov Seas Ports Association, the Union of Road Transport Associations in the BSEC Region, Black Sea Association of Shipbuilders and Ship Repairmen, the Black Sea University Network, the Black Sea Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe, the Danube Commission, the International Network for Small and Medium Enterprises, and the World Tourism Organization.

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