CIES successfully held the 1st International Neighbourhood Symposium on “Understanding the Common Neighbourhood – The Black Sea Region in Focus” on the island of Heybeliada near Istanbul from Tuesday, 28 June – Sunday, 3 July 2011. The International Neighbourhood Symposium aims to promote further understanding and cooperation in the Black Sea region and beyond by providing a forum for study, dialogue and networking in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment. Young professionals and graduate students primarily from the countries of the Black Sea area, EU member states, and the United States participated in the symposium. In organizing the 1st of many more International Neighbourhood Symposia, CIES aims to create an outlet for promoting regional cooperation and dialogue in the wider neighbourhood of the European Union and Turkey.  

CIES hosted 33 participants from 18 countries, consisting of young professionals, graduate and doctoral students, 20 speakers and 7 observers from the Black Sea region, Europe and the United States.  The International Neighbourhood Symposium provided a platform for representatives from academia, non-governmental and governmental organizations to come together to study, dialogue and network in a multicultural interdisciplinary environment. 

The first half of the Symposium consisted of seminars given by experts on such issues as understanding the Black Sea region, regional security issues, regional cooperation, Black Sea relations with the European Union and NATO, the economic context of the region, and democratic institutions and governance.  Participants joined in by debating the key regional political, economic and social issues.  Under the direction of Professor Benjamin Broome of Arizona State University, the second half of the Symposium consisted of structured dialogue workshops which allowed for participants to evaluate problems in the region and to formulate solutions in the form of projects.  CIES will work with participants post Symposium to further the project ideas developed during the workshops.

The CIES project enjoys the support of numerous international partners and sponsors including the Black Sea Trust for Regional CooperationHarvard University Black Sea Security Program,  NATOOpen Ukraine FoundationTÜBİTAKConsulate General of the United States, IstanbulInstitute for Regional and International StudiesInternational Centre for Democratic TransitionInternational Relations Council of Turkey,  Kadir Has University, the Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey, the American University of Bulgaria, the European Studies Institute of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), the Center for Technology, Security, and Policy (CTSP) at Virginia Tech and the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe at the University of St. Gallen


2011 International Neighbourhood Symposium Report

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