The first day of The Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum 2018 is over! Once again, the Forum organised by New Strategy Center together with the Ovidius University and the Metropolitan Area Authorities of Constanța proves the Forum is an annual unique event which involves officials, scholars, analysts, representatives of non-governmental organisations and international experts on the security issues of the region.

The insightful and fruitful discussions grouped in 5 panels have shown once again that no matter how one looks at the map, the Black Sea and the Balkans stand out as a geopolitical space where many interests overlap and occasionally collide. While hostile propaganda, hybrid warfare and disinformation in the countries of the two regions are on the rise, the role of the EU and NATO becomes of outmost importance for the stability and prosperity of both regions. Indeed, mature democracies will help the countries of the region to establish the required institutional mechanisms and to build grass-roots awareness about the importance of countering the security challenges within the Black Sea and the Balkans.

In terms of countering the financial challenges for the Black Sea area and the Balkans, it was broadly agreed that the cooperation is of outmost importance for the both regions, as the financial power is shifting out of Europe.

The last panel, panel IV „The Three Seas Initiative and the Development of the Region”, proved a very dynamic one and was a great occasion for the New Strategy Center and Centre for Eastern Studies – OSW to officially launch „The emergence of a European project. Three Summits for the Three Sea Initiative”, a joint policy paper on the Three Seas Initiative, a political and economic initiative which is likely to attract further transport, energy or ICT investments in the CEE.