On 19 of June 2014, Ankara Office of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) hosted the meeting between GMF Country Director, Mr. Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı and BSCSIF represenatatives – Ms. Alev Balgi, BSCSIF Executive Director, and Ms. Natalia Ciobanu, ICSCEC Project Coordinator.
The meeting aimed at identifying common topics of interest between GMF and BSCSIF with the view to join efforts in contributing to regional development. The discussions focused on the need to strengthen democratic processes and cross-border cooperation between civil society organizations in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea countries, which was revealed to be a matter of common concern for the two organizations. Both sides agreed that there is a feeling of urgency in addressing such issues as polarization of Turkish society, Ukraine’s difficulties encountered on its road to Europe, difficulties that Moldova faces economically, as well as the contribution IT might be having to democratization. It was agreed that BSCSIF will explore the urgency of the problems among its members and come up with a proposal addressing social cohesion and democratization of societies in the BSCS region.
Founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization, GMF supports, among others, a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies with the aim to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan.
The cooperation between BSCSIF and GMF started in 2011, when GMF office in Bucharest supported the launching of the first issue of BSCSIF magazine “Dialogue of the Seas”, while this meeting was a first step in paving the way to collaboration between BSCSIF and GMF office in Ankara. This is in line with BSCSIF’s objective to strengthen democratic processes and civil society in BSCSIF countries.