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The ICUB Social Sciences Division has set into motion an initiative with the objectives of creating a Black Sea Area Studies Center at the University of Bucharest. The Center is aimed to be a research and public outreach platform dedicated to interdisciplinary research and policy relevant analysis of the Black Sea area developments, by combining a strategic perspective with an analytical focus on the economic, political, cultural, demographic, military, environmental, and social developments in the region.

The objective is to create a regionally unique, university-based resource of public interest which builds on the solid interdisciplinary capabilities offered by the University of Bucharest  with its specialists in geography, history, natural sciences, information sciences, foreign languages, economics, administrative and policy sciences, sociology, environmental sciences, military and strategic studies etc. Around this core competence offered by the University of Bucharest, the Center will be mobilizing experts, resources, specialists, stakeholders and capabilities from the civil society, from the business sector, from other relevant governmental organization and from other universities or research centers in the world and in the region. The program portfolio of the initiative would include research, workshops, public conferences, informal colloquia, public outreach and networking, summer schools, training for the international organizations and the private sector, consultation forums, and publications.

The result would be twofold: a forum for the stakeholders and a hub of a network of organizations and individuals who are directly or indirectly interested in the developments in the Black Sea area. In addition, the initiative will offer its members and stakeholders the possibility to have a voice and an organized presence in the public arena/debate, in relationship to those developments, either to react or contribute to shaping their dynamics. Last but not least, the initiative will have a strong international dimension, creating a regional hub able to extend communication and coordination lines both in the region and into larger European and global settings.

With this this end in view, an exploratory meeting with a selected group of potential stakeholders was initiated. The meeting took place on April 10th, at the Panduri ICUB Office. Representatives of the University of Bucharest and of potential partners from the civil society, national and regional NGOs and think tanks, as well as of the private sector and other relevant organizations, have reviewed the basic parameters of the project and the current stage of the initiative, have exploring potential points of interest, cooperation and partnership, and outlined an exploratory development agenda for the next six months.


Image: Arnold Dupuy (George Mason University and Virginia Polytechnic) outlines the plans for a pilot Study Abroad initiative bringing graduate students from VTech and GMU to the University of Bucharest for an intensive program introducing them to top Romanian and regional academic, public sector and private sector lecturers and trainers.

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