International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS), Athens
The International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organisation under Greek law. It has since fulfilled a dual function: On the one hand, it is an independent research and training institution focusing on the wider Black Sea region. On the other, it is a related body of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and in this capacity serves as its think-tank. As such it has direct access to policy makers in the BSEC member states and a vast network of contacts in research institutes and with other stakeholders. Since its founding, the ICBSS has a accumulated rich experience in policy-oriented research and advocacy work. It plays a central role in strengthening Black Sea – EU cooperation and regularly produces publications, policy recommendations and events with the overarching aim of fostering cooperation among and with the countries of the Black Sea region.
Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Ankara
The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) is an independent, non-governmental, non-partisan think-tank, established in October 2004. TEPAV aims to increase the knowledge content of policy discussions in Turkey. The goal of TEPAV research is to remove the gap between academic research and policy implementation. TEPAV is composed of three institutes. They are the International Policy Research Institute – IPRI, the Economic Policy Research Institute – EPRI and the Economic Stability Institute – ESI. TEPAV makes its findings and analysis widely available through its publications and events.
The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Bucharest
In order to promote regional cooperation and good governance in the wider Black Sea region, GMF started the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation. A public-private partnership, the Black Sea Trust (BST) works in collaboration with a range of donors to provide grants to local organisations working to foster and strengthen regional cooperation, civil society, and democratic foundations.
The broad goals of the Black Sea Trust are four-fold:
• To rebuild trust in public institutions
• To affirm the value of citizen participation in the democratic process
• To strengthen a critical set of institutions that lie at the nexus of state and society
• To foster regional, cross-border ties in the public, private, and non-profit sectors
Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh
Founded in 1977, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is a private, independent and non-partisan foundation that aims to identify social problems and challenges at an early stage and develop solutions to address them. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is both a think tank and an agent for social change and is working to promote steady development that leads to a sustainable society. It focuses on areas in which it has accumulated a wealth of experience over many years. Its work is geared towards improving education, a just and efficient economic system, a preventative healthcare system, a vibrant civil society and greater international understanding.
In the area of international politics, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has gained expertise in fields such as democracy and integration, modern government, European integration, as well as security policy. It has developed the Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index (BTI), an international ranking of 125 developing and transition countries which permits a focused comparison of the status of a country’s democratic and market-economy structures, as well as the efficacy of its reform strategies.