The overall goal of the project was to extend and empower the network of young reformers of the Black Sea countries, launched by the pilot BSYRF project in 2010, as an instrument to serve a double-edged purpose: first, to provide a platform for the young reformers to communicate and advocate to the institutions of the EU the interests of their countries for closer cooperation with Europe; second, to open new channels of influence for the European policy makers to develop and implement an overall strategy for multilateral cooperation between the EU institutions and the policy communities of the Black Sea countries. Regional stability, institutional reform and economic development have been the basic targets of this strategy for multilateral cooperation between the EU and its Eastern Neighbourhood. The focus in the second year has been on more practical, concrete issues, and the conclusions of the framework discussion of the pilot year will serve as a basis.
1. Developing, extending and further empowering of the Black Sea network of young leaders – alumni, fellows and potential fellows of the BSYRF project. This means developing a bank of ideas, project proposals and innovative methods, aimed at achieving the fundamental goal of the entire project – integration of the Black Sea region young policy community into the mainstream of regional and European decision-making on the issues of institution building, security development and regional cooperation and integration.
2. Promoting the BSYRF group of the second project year and the BSYRF Alumni as a whole to an active position to start a debate on and communicate a sustainable vision of Black Sea regional cooperation as part of a larger strategy of the EU to create and explore an outer circle of European integration within its Eastern Neighbourhood – a European Commonwealth of Nations, following a European path of development.
3. Organizing an active and concerted advocacy campaign, targeted at the institutions and the policy makers in Brussels and other major European capitals, where BSYRF fellows will have the chance to promote their ideas, visions and concrete projects to the levels of decision-making within the EU.
4. Expanding the public involvement in the promotion of a renewed, multilateral cooperation pattern in the Black Sea area, backed by the EU. This will include advocating, and coordinating and widening the public outreach of the ideas for a multilateral cooperation process in the Black Sea region under the aegis of the EU throughout the informed public opinion of the Black Sea countries.
The project was supported by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
The main goal of IRIS in assessing the NPP Belene project is aimed at developing a comprehensive picture of the liabilities and the effects which the construction of this facility will have on Bulgaria’ energy market, on the sustainability of the energy system and the energy consumption in the country for the next 3-5 decades and on the functioning of the Bulgarian political and public administration system in mid-term perspective. The IRIS analyses will also particularly focus on the larger strategic and security context that NPP Belene will create in completing the monopolization of the Bulgarian energy system by Russia – bringing it under total Russian control.
The overall goal of the proposed project was to assure the continuity and sustainability of the larger BSYRF effort by establishing an Alumni Association of the programme’s graduates, allowing them to meet on a regular basis, discuss current issues and take common action to solve those issues by means of joint advocacy efforts and project development.
The overall goal of the project is to enhance and institutionalise interaction among the most influential think tanks in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in order to arrive at common positions and launch common initiatives on improving international security and cooperation in the Black sea region as well as to support all major efforts by national governments and international organisations to this end.
The project is an effort at supporting reformist thinking and reformist activities across the region of the Black Sea through identifying and encouraging reform-oriented, influential young policy-makers, civil servants and civil society activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine into an effective and viable network.
In October 2006 IRIS initiated the project Bulgaria in the Euro-Atlantic Security System with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The project was aimed at advancing recommendations for improving institutional performance in Bulgaria, Georgia and Moldova, based on comparative analysis of a selected cluster of institutions mirroring the state of the society and governance by employing the ‘democratic auditing’ methodological approach. Institutional analysis, public opinion surveys and case studies of best practices were employed to elicit alternative policy solutions.
Between May 2004 and May 1 2005 IRIS International Security and Democratization Program implemented the “Networking for the Black Sea Region Stabilization and Integration” program. The proposed program built on the achievements of GMFUS and IRIS’ own efforts in the Black Sea region. The program was aimed at assisting with developing and launching an overall policy strategy for integrating the Black Sea countries into the Euro-Atlantic mainstream.
The project aimed at evaluating the civic organizations′ attitudes, needs and capacity with respect to civic participation in the decision making in Ukraine and Moldova and also at identifying specific competencies needed for successful civic mobilization and participation in the decision making.
Between May 1, 2003 and May 1, 2004 IRIS International Security and Democratization Program implemented the program entitled Anchoring the Black Sea Countries to the Euro-Atlantic Mainstream: Policies, Mechanisms and Multilateral Networks. The Program was aimed at promoting strategies, policies and actions that would ultimately anchor the countries of the Black Sea region firmly to the Euro-Atlantic mainstream.
On May 1, 2003 IRIS International Security and Democratization Program started the implementation of the project entitled Benefiting from Enlarging NATO to Southeast Europe: Promoting the New NATO Agenda. The Program was aimed at providing assessment and policy alternatives of how Bulgaria and Romania, in their new function as NATO members, would translate the new mission of the Alliance into regional policy action. The program offered recommendations that capitalized on the experience of the two countries in conducting reforms in order to maximize the effectiveness of stability and security building in the region. The program aimed at contributing to increased understanding of how enlarged and transformed NATO would respond to the 21st century security challenges to provide a security arc for its members.
IRIS International Security and Democratization Program implemented the project entitled “Promoting Security and Regional Cooperation: The Perspectives of NATO Enlargement and EU Association of Southeastern Europe Towards the Year 2002” started on May 1, 2001. Project aimed primarily at providing IRIS with the necessary resources and strengthening of its capacity to actively contribute to the process of policy formulation and implementation concerning Southeastern Europe.
The project aimed to set priorities and clearly define the goals of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe. It provided analytical assistance and policy growth/development in the fields of regional security systems institutional development and infrastructure economic development.