It is often claimed that the Black Sea is one of the most degraded seas in the world. Management to rehabilitate the Black Sea requires cooperation between the coastal countries to be successful. However, regional cooperation in the Black Sea is poorly coordinated and lack concrete outcomes. This article analyses the performance of the Black Sea Commission in terms of enabling and fostering effective regional collaboration between the Black Sea coastal countries. The results indicate that the measures undertaken by the Black Sea Commission are effective in terms of enabling scientific and project based cooperation between the Black Sea countries. The cooperation around regional and national institutional reforms to tackle the Black Sea environmental problems is found to be weak. Despite the existing mechanisms and willingness of countries to cooperate, the implementation of the established strategic action plan for the environmental protection and rehabilitation of the Black Sea is limited. Most of the limitations of the Black Sea Commission's regime are found in its institutional and legal frameworks, which constrain the effectiveness of collaborative efforts of the Black Sea countries. To be fully functional, the collaborative governance regime of the Black Sea Commission has to be improved. Recommendations as to how these may be addressed to enhance the regime's capacity to ensure effective marine collaborative governance in the region are presented in this article.
- Black Sea
- regional cooperation
- collaborative governance regime
- Black Sea Commission