Harnessing preparedness and response to marine pollution in the Black Sea

Available Funding: 
€ 7 600 000

This topic is part of the call : "Regional flagships projects supporting sustainable blue economy in EU sea basins (EMFAF-2023-PIA-FLAGSHIP)" part of the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme


The overall objective of this topic is to prepare and adapt the capacities for a coordinated response to new challenges linked to marine pollution, with particular attention to pollution caused by armed conflicts, by authorities/organisations in charge of marine environmental pollution response activities.

This will be done by developing and testing new training curricula, based on the identification of the specific characteristics and response needs linked to sea pollution caused by, for example, ammunitions, oil leaks, and sunken vessels, as well as on the analysis of the current training offer on marine pollution response.

This topic will complement the activities implemented in the region by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), in particular under its Component 4 ‘Protection of the marine environment’.


Building on the Goal I of the Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) for the Black Sea, and in particular on Priority 5 ‘Encourage the production, management and sharing of marine and coastal environmental knowledge for effective environmental monitoring and observation’, the focus of this topic is twofold:

  1. Identifying specific types and impacts of marine pollution, including pollution caused by armed conflicts, that should be tackled, and prioritize the potential environmental risks (including hazardous substances, eutrophication, litter, noise) and the threats to marine and coastal biodiversity.
  2. Define training curricula for tackling the issues referred to in the above point, provided that these curricula are complementary and do not overlap with the existing ones.

The selected projects are expected to take stock and build on relevant experiences from EU competent authorities/organisations active in other sea basins and that have already developed experience on the objectives and activities specified in this topic.

Activities that can be funded:

Selected projects should carry out to the maximum extent possible the indicative (not exhaustive) activities listed below:

  • Mapping of the authorities/organisations that are in charge of the marine environmental pollution response in the different Black Sea countries and the existing training plans;
  • Identification of specific type of pollution, sea and land based, that can be considered as peculiar of specific events, including armed conflicts;
  • Identification and monitoring of relevant indicators;
  • Definition of the structure/elements of a regional database with comparable information/indicators;
  • Mapping and analysis of the existing training programmes/curricula provided by EU based authorities/organisations related to sea pollution caused by armed conflicts;
  • Definition of new specific training curricula for sea pollution, including the one caused by armed conflicts, both at Black Sea and at national level;
  • Test new specific training curricula at national level;
  • Implementing a regional training module, facilitating the exchange of lesson learned and best practices;
  • Elaboration of recommendations on training needs to respond to sea pollution, including pollution caused by armed conflicts, in the Black Sea and on how, in the medium-long term perspective, these training courses can be adapted in order to integrate the existing training programmes/curricula on marine environmental pollution response.

Expected Impact:

Applicants will describe in their proposal the concrete and measurable results within the duration of the project and their expected impact, including indicators for the monitoring and measurement of progress.

Projects are expected to achieve the following impacts to the maximum extent possible in line with the proposed activities:

  • Better understanding of roles and activities of authorities/organisations in charge of the marine environmental pollution response in the different Black Sea countries and the training schemes/offer;
  • Defined causes of sea pollution, including pollution from armed conflicts, also land/rivers based;
  • Training opportunities adapted to the new marine environmental challenges the Black Sea developed;
  • Reinforced capacity of responsible authorities/organisations to cooperate at regional level;
  • Improved/differentiated marine environmental pollution response activities skills;
  • Improved capacities of the authorities/organisations to cooperate at sea basin level on defining and implementing training scheme on sea pollution, including pollution caused by armed conflicts, while integrating the expertise and best practices from other EU sea basins/countries.
  • Increased knowledge about the impacts of the pollution caused by armed conflicts on marine environment and ecosystems.

The above list of expected impacts is non-exhaustive and applicants may add others if deemed relevant to achieve the objectives of this topic.

Eligible Applicants: 

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

- be legal entities (public or private bodies)
- be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs);
- non-EU countries that are part of the sea basin strategies and/or regional cooperation frameworks targeted in this call for proposals:
- For Topic 2: Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey;
- For Topic 3 and Topic 4: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Albania,
North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Beneficiaries and affiliated entities must register in the Participant Register — before submitting the proposal — and will have to be validated by the Central Validation Service (REA Validation). For the validation, they will be requested to upload documents showing legal status and origin.

Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc (see section 13).

Specific cases:

Exceptional funding — Entities from countries mentioned in the work programme (if any) are only exceptionally eligible, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action.

Natural persons — Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of selfemployed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).

International organisations — International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.

Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.

EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’.

Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).

EU restrictive measures — Special rules apply for certain entities (e.g. entities subject to EU restrictive measures under Article 29 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU)34 and entities covered by Commission Guidelines No 2013/C 205/0535). Such entities are not eligible to participate in any capacity, including as beneficiaries, affiliated entities, associated partners, subcontractors or recipients of financial support to third parties (if any). For more information, see Rules for Legal Entity Validation, LEAR Appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment.

Project Length: 

Projects should normally range between 12 and 36 months (extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment).

Further Financing Information: 

The available call budget is EUR 7 600 000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%.

Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project, but this does not preclude the submission/selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Hence, project budgets (maximum grant amount) per topic are expected to range between:

- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 1: Diversification of fisheries activities in the Atlantic area
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 600 000 per project - Topic 2: Harnessing preparedness and response to marine pollution in the Black Sea
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 3: Sustainable transport and ports in the Mediterranean
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 4: Maritime clusters as an innovative enabler for a Sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 5: Sustainable maritime and coastal tourism in the Outermost Regions
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 600 000 per project - Topic 6: Regenerative ocean farming in the Baltic Sea Region

For more Information: 

For more Information, please consult the funding details on the European Commission portal: Portal