Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation
Ten Year Anniversary of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation — A Project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) in Bucharest. BST is a grantmaking initiative created by The German Marshall Fund of the United States, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, the Government of Latvia, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Starting in 2011, BST also received support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to expand its work.
For a decade now, BST has been strengthening regional cooperation, civil society, and democratic foundations in the countries of the Black Sea region. In particular, BST has focused on building trust among citizens and in the public institutions, affirming the value of citizen participation in the democratic process, promoting the involvement of civil society in conflict resolution, and fostering regional cross-border ties in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In this regard, it organizes regular study tours to countries in the region and other events of interest to the regional political climate and coordinates research.
Following the changes in the political environment and the corresponding needs, BST has recently broadened its work to Central and Eastern Europe, aiming to bolster civil society, democratic processes, and citizen involvement in decision-making, as well as to address some of the obstacles in further democratic development of the region.
BST will continue for the next five years to help improve the democratic climate in the targeted regions, not only through grantmaking, but also through its policy and leadership development programs. BST will also keep promoting regional views on issues of importance to both the region and the international community, such as security, democracy, and European policies toward the neighborhood.