The heads of state and government of the member states of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) met in Istanbul on Monday both to mark the 25th anniversary of the BSEC and to hold its Istanbul summit as part of Turkey's pre-tempore presidency and issue a final declaration.
The idea of establishing the BSEC goes back to the early 1980s when an alliance was sought in order to meet Turkey's energy needs in return for the-then Soviet Union's need for food and similar consumer goods. It highlighted partnerships for regional trade cooperation based on mutual interest, and so Romania and Bulgaria, which had experienced hardships in terms of international trade at that time, agreed with the premise and joined the quest for establishing it.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union did not interrupt the mutual concerns for more efficient and smooth trade activities between the countries, all of which are located on the Black Sea. Former Soviet Union countries - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Armenia - also attended the meetings in order to build the BSEC. Apart from the countries that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, two European countries, Greece and Albania, joined this formation and the BSEC was founded in 1992.
In fact, unions founded solely for commercial and economic motives such as the BSEC may be complementary to large political, far-reaching and multipurpose integrations such as the EU. These unions organize circulation in the fields of capital, commodity and labor, and complete super-unions as specific formations that evaluate the comparative advantages of countries.
At the moment, however, "sub-unions" like the BSEC must be considered much more important formations. Indeed, the EU's expansion has halted and increasingly, it is ceasing to be a union and an economic and political entity where all of its members win. It does not promise medium and long-term economic enrichment, welfare and further democracy for EU countries apart from Germany, which considers itself to be the economic and political leader of the union, and few northern European countries, which desperately follow Germany's lead.
The problems for Germany are not problems that can be resolved in the near future in the current state of the EU, and despite the high efficiency of the German economy, it faces two fundamental problems. First, the problematic combination of labor and technology is constantly reducing profits. Second, the technology efficiency cannot make a net contribution to growth due to both high labor costs and market problems. Due to these problems, Germany contributed to the disintegration of the region through taking part in massacres, which went as far as a genocide in Yugoslavia and aimed for countries that could become its own satellite and market.
The Germans become angry when they are called Nazis and do not want to remember their Nazi history, however, they committed a lesser version of what Adolf Hitler did in Eastern Europe in the 1990s and tried to carry out a similar thing in Turkey recently. However, they have learned from experience that Turkey is not Yugoslavia.
We think the real problem of the EU economy is that despite a high efficiency in traditional sectors in central countries like Germany, these sectors face a grave market problem. On the other hand, competitive pressure and low profit rates in high-tech sectors constitute the main problem for the EU economy. Central European countries such as Germany and France face challenges in competition with Asian countries in traditional sectors, especially energy, due to rising costs. Coupled with the highly valuable euro, the recession pressure on Germany and France will continue.
The new French President Emmanuel Macron cannot find a solution to this problem. However, if he rejects the EU's position and can lead an enlargement strategy for a new EU, he can take steps to resolve the problem.
The Adriatic and Balkan countries cannot continue with a moribund German-centric EU. For instance, the fact that countries like Slovenia were hastily made EU members with Germany's oppression is part of Germany's plan to swallow such countries. So the EU must adopt a new union perspective that includes the Balkan and Adriatic countries and expands to Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan including Turkey.
Currently, Turkey connects the Caucasus and the Adriatic via the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC). This energy line is sister to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which connects the railway network, namely the new Silk Road originating from China, to Europe via the Marmaray rail tunnel.
On the other hand, we are stepping into a period in which post-Brexit U.K. will make bilateral trade agreements. As such, all current quests that have historic significance such as the U.K.'s Brexit process, China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, Turkey's quests for further growth, and Russia's obligation to establish the Eurasian union as the new integration of trade and energy give us the opportunity to form a different world from the 19th and 20th century.
So, we must view unions like the BSEC, which were established in the previous century, and which must take a different path at the moment, from this perspective. Now, you may mention the problems among the BSEC countries themselves, such as problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia and between Russia and Ukraine. But, they are the problems going back to the previous century, aren't they?
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