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The Black Sea and the European Integration of the South-East Countries

Many years ago Roberto Sabatini Lopez quoted an Italian source of 15th century witch pointed Caffa as the last town of Europe. An Europe prolonged to Crimea, included a significant part of the actual South-East of the continent – the whole in that times – was the result of the 13th-14th centuries commercial revolution, argued by the late professor Lopez, but also it is due principally to the Black Sea, which became in the same time a “plaque tournante” of the international trading, after / according to the suggestive definition of George I. Brătianu. The agents of the international trade, the Italian merchants agreed with the representatives of the riveran states and provoked this unprecedented “statal disclosure” of the region and a new configuration of Europe. Or even the basement of our United Europe.

The Ottoman conquest from the middle of 14th to the second half of 17th centuries transformed the Black Sea into an exclusive imperial sea, - after Vienna’s defeat (1683) a true “Ottoman lake” - and contributed to the isolation of a greater part of the South-East of the continent from Europe. In the 18th century for a Romanian traveler to pass in the Habsburgs states was equivalent to enter in Europe.

The new European recovery was due firstly to the same process of expansion of European trade in the Black Sea after the Adrianople peace (1829) and consequently to the new position of the Danubian Principalities and the Kingdom of Greece and even to the beginning of modernization of Ottoman Empire. But the great transformation was possible only by the Oriental and Crimean War (1853-1856), through the victory in Crimea which made possible the Paris Treaty (1856) and Conference (1858). With the resurrection of the modest seashore façade of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Walachia the Paris Treaty made a breech into the imperial domination of the Black Sea and marked the beginning of the state reconstruction of the riveran nations. Through the new war of 1877-1878 and the affirmation of the free states of the Southeast Europe, and between them the Renaissance of the Bulgarian state, this processes flourished for a moment after the First World War in 1918-1923 to be one of the greatest challenge of Europe after 1989 to today.