The political support at the local level is one of the major elements for successful development of regional cooperation. The present stage of development of cooperation in the Black Sea region reveals the need for a greater involvement of national parliaments in promoting the role of local governments in mobilizing support at a the local level for ongoing cooperation process. The Assembly stressed in the Recommendation on the Role of Local Governments in Strengthening Cooperation in the Black Sea Region (rec. 85/2005), that the Black Sea states have to facilitate strengthening cultural and economic ties at local level providing a solid foundation for strengthening cooperation at regional level.
In 1994, PABSEC launched a major initiative to bring together the Governors and Mayors of the Black Sea Capital-Cities, setting out from the conviction that local authorities could make a valuable contribution to the consolidation and expansion of the multilateral cooperation in the Black Sea region (rec. 8/1994). The three Round Tables of the Black Sea Capitals’ Governors and Mayors organized in Istanbul, Kyiv and Bucharest under the PABSEC auspices paved the way for the institutionalization of a specific framework of cooperation giving tremendous perspectives for joint actions of the participating Capitals, as a new component of the Black Sea Cooperation. The establishment of the Black Sea Capitals’ Association (BSCA), in May 1998 in Bucharest, has marked a turning point in this process (rec. 28/1998).
The First BSCA General Assembly, held in Ankara on 5-6 September 2000, under the PABSEC auspices led to a comprehensive and constructive exchange of views on matters of common interest, and agreed upon to build up cooperation on specific projects. The successful organization of the Second General Assembly of the Black Sea Capitals’ Association, on 15-16 October 2001 in Athens, proved the significance of the PABSEC initiative to forging close ties among the local authorities of the participating capitals (rec. 57/2001). The Third General Assembly of the Black Sea Capitals’ Association, held on 29-30 April 2002 in Baku addressed vital issues of local governance, involvement of the citizens in to overall management of the local administration, elaboration and implementation of comprehensive economic and social programs with a direct and positive impact on the sustainable development of the countries of the region (rec. 63/2002). The Fourth General Assembly of the BSCA was held on 29-30 September 2003 in Chisinau and discussed the issue of “The Role of Capital Cities in the Family and Child Protection: Economic, Social and Administrative Programs”. The Fifth General Assembly of the BSCA was held in Moscow on 11-12 October 2004. The participants discussed “Transport Problems and their Solutions in the Capitals of the Black Sea States”. At the conclusion of the meeting, the participants adopted a Joint Declaration that, in particular, reiterated the commitment of the participating cities to enhance their contribution to good-neighborly relations, peace, prosperity and economic cooperation in the Black Sea region.