On June 19, 2013, the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF) organized the Gala Dinner on the occasion of granting Awards 2012 to high-rank officials from the EU Institutions, and to BSCSIF member countries, which have distinguished themselves, according to international appraisals, by outstanding achievements in the areas currently important for the EU and extended Black Sea – Caspian Sea region.
More than 200 participants – European officials, diplomatic corps, representatives of civil society and mass-media – attended the event in the building of the European Parliament in Brussels.
The opening speech and presentation of the Fund was made by Mr. Marius Eugen Opran, the Director of the BSCSIF branch in Brussels, afterwards the award ceremony was officially opened by Mr. Akkan Suver, BSCSIF President.The awards were granted following the main directions of BSCSIF activity, such as economic and regional sustainable development; international peace, intercultural and interreligious dialogue; protection of cultural heritage; implementation of democratic reforms; significant progress on European integration; international cooperation in the area of energy; permanent support for ecology and environmental protection; modernization of educational and healthcare systems.
The 2012 BSCSIF Awards were granted to the distinguished personalities, as following:
- Mr. Martin SCHULZ, the President of European Parliament, for his activity in strengthening the European Parliament’s role as a forum for democracy, and in contributing to a more united and integrated European Union as an economically strong, socially just, free and democratic home for all Europeans;
- Mr. Johannes HAHN, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, for the vision to promote EU investments through dynamic initiatives and projects, with real social and economic benefits for EU citizens, and for the strategic decision encouraging Member States to incorporate Danube Strategy priorities in the new programs for Regional Policy 2014-2020;
- Mr. Štefan FÜLE, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, for his leading role in the Enlargement Process and supporting the political association and economic integration into the EU of partner countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood;
- Mr. Andris PIEBALGS, EU Commissioner for Development, for the contribution in modernizing aid policy and delivery mechanisms; leading the most important initiatives in the areas of the Millennium Development Goals, education, health, sustainable agriculture and energy; professional development of innovative financial instruments to leverage many-fold the effects of the aid of one of the world’s largest donors – European Union;
- Mr. Siim KALLAS, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Transport, for promoting transport services that truly benefit Europeans, making the best use of the EU infrastructure and developing policies and legislation that bring greater safety and security;
- Mr. Dacian CIOLOS, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, for proposing a reform of the CAP that brings about a paradigm change in the EU’s agricultural policy; his central role in setting up the European Neighbourhood Partnership for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD); for designing and setting up the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) “Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability”;
- Mr. Hans MARTENS, Chief Executive of European Policy Center in Brussels, for his activity covering various global aspects of economic and social life dedicated to build a bridge between EU institutions, companies, social partners, diplomatic world, regional and local Governments, as well as NGOs;
- Mr. Sorin OPRESCU, Mayor of Bucharest Municipality, for regional and local development, for major achievements and realistic vision on local infrastructure development of Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, for the benefit of citizens;
- Mrs. Rovana PLUMB, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Romania, for the achievements in implementing the EU policies and standards on Environment Protection, also the initiatives supporting the important role of Green Economy for Sustainable Development of Romania.
The 2012 BSCSIF Awards were also granted to the following BSCSIF countries:
- AZERBAIJAN for contribution to international peace and security, as well as progress achieved in promotion of dialogue of civilizations, and for its active role and contribution to the development of new strategic regional energy corridors, including major investments in the field of energy resources;
- GEORGIA for progress in the area of political stability, friendly and easy – to – do environment for foreign investments and reform of educational system;
- REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA for European integration by the successful association to the 7 framework programme of the European community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013);
- MONTENEGRO for ecology and environment protection, for protection of biodiversity and conservation of natural values;
- TURKEY for performances in economic development, for maintaining and developing a strong and diversified free – market economy, for its role as energy connector between Caspian Sea area and Europe and for the permanent support granted to SME’s sector.The ceremony was closed by Mr. Gabriel Comanescu, extending gratitude to the distinguished nominants who have recieved awards and all guests participating in the event, the BSCSIF team and the Director of the Brussels branch. Mr. Comanescu expressed his strong belief that the organization he represents will always offer its support to the region, including civil society, business environment and governmental authorities.The event held in Brussels was aimed at rising interest of the European structures, international organizations, representatives of the private sector and civil society to the extended Black Sea – Caspian Sea region, as it became increasingly significant in the geo-political, geo-strategic and economic regard in the last years.