Call for Applications: Regional Essay Competition for the Youth (Black Sea React project)


Regional Essay Competition for the Youth

Saving our Sea: new ways to reduce marine pollution in the Black Sea

Call for Applications

Deadline: 30 September 2021

The Regional Essay Competition for the Youth aims to raise awareness and motivate young people in the BSEC Member States to take action against the growing marine pollution challenge in the Black Sea. Apart from fostering a culture of eco-friendly behaviour and environmental consciousness in younger age groups, the initiative aspires to motivate the wider society to learn from its youngsters in adopting sustainable practices for reducing marine litter and marine pollution.

1. Subject

Essays should address one or several questions, as follows:

  1. How can you help tackle marine litter in the Black Sea region? Share your ideas and/or experiences!
  2. Why is marine litter prevention important?
  3. What do you think is standing in the way of a clean Black Sea?
  4. Have you ever participated in public or youth initiatives to collect marine litter? What would motivate you to do so?

2. Application Guidelines

  • Essays must be submitted in the English or Russian
  • Essays must be 1000 words – max. 2000 words. This is the total word count of the essay including the bibliography.
  • Essays must include footnotes and bibliography.
  • Submission will not be accepted if: the essay exceeds the above-mentioned maximum or minimum word count; does not address the topic; does not include citations and at least one source of information.

3. Who can participate

Essays may be submitted by high-school students aged 15 to 18 years, citizens of the 13 BSEC Member States (Albania, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Bulgaria, Georgia, Hellenic Republic, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Turkey and Ukraine).

4. How to participate

  • One single entry per person will only be allowed. Co-authored essays will not be accepted.
  • Essays must be submitted in PDF or MS Word (Doc/Docx) format. The title of the attachment should read SURNAME, First Name.
  • Essays must be submitted online via email at
  • Email Subject Line:Essay Submission 2021_Name of author

5. Important Dates

  • 30 September 2021: Application Deadline
  • 8 October 2021: Announcement of pre-screening results
  • 30 October 2021: Announcement of final results

6. Awards

  • 1st Place: 1000 EUR
  • 2nd Place: 500 EUR
  • 3rd Place: 300 EUR
  • 4th to 10th places: Certificate of participation

1st Prize winner will be invited to the Project’s Final Conference in spring 2022 (venue and date to be announced).


The initiative is an activity within the framework of the Project Pilot innovative solutions for fighting marine litter in the Black Sea, co-funded by the European Commission under Grant Contract ENI/2020/421-957, coordinated by the BSEC PERMIS within the framework of the Action “Support to the Implementation of the Eastern Partnership Multilateral Dimension, Northern Dimension and Black Sea Synergy”.


About the Organisers:

  • Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS)

The BSEC PERMIS performs the secretarial duties for the Organization of the “Black Sea Economic Cooperation” (BSEC Organization), a full-fledged intergovernmental, regional organization promoting the economic cooperation among its 13 Member States from the wider Black Sea region. Twenty-eight years after its foundation in 1992, BSEC is today the oldest, most representative, most inclusive and institutionally mature intergovernmental Organization in the wider Black Sea area, contributing to the promotion of regional cooperation and economic development.  

  • International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS)

Founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization, the ICBSS, a Related Body of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) serving as the latter’s think-tank, is a research and training institution focusing on the wider Black Sea region. Through a diverse plan of activities, ICBSS aims to enhance knowledge through research and to foster multilateral cooperation among the BSEC Member States, as well as among regional and international partners.