The Three Seas initiative is a political platform launched in 2015, whose main objective is to provide political support for better cooperation and interconnection of the economies of the states in the geographical area between the three seas – Adriatic, Baltic and Black – in areas such as energy, transport, telecommunications or environmental protection.
Given that the health restrictions did not allow the organization, this year, of a new edition of the Business Forum of the Three Seas Initiative, it was replaced by an online Forum, in the opening of which President Iohannis will send a message, along with the other presidents in the region, states the website of the Romanian Presidency, presidency.ro.
According to the Presidential Administration, the 2020 Summit is an important step in consolidating the Three Seas Initiative, which was initiated by decisions taken at the Summit hosted by President Iohannis in September 2018. The general framework for discussion will be to assess progress, added value and future milestones of the Initiative.
“Progress is expected in the implementation of the list of priority interconnection projects agreed at the Bucharest Summit (2018), which was subsequently completed, as well as in the operation of the Investment Fund of the Three Seas Initiative, in which Romania, through EximBank , and Poland, through the Development Bank (BGK), are founding states. A report on smart connectivity will be launched at the Summit, “the Presidential Administration said in a statement on September 16, 2020.
The I3M Virtual Summit and Web Forum on 19 October, involving heads of state, will focus on the future of the initiative, funding for cross-border infrastructure projects and the digitization of the energy and transport sectors. In terms of transport, the host country Estonia will present the vision of smart connectivity and the extensive digital experience involved, according to the 2020 Summit website, https://3seas.eu/.
Along with the heads of state of the countries participating in the Three Seas Initiative, the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission will also be present as partners of the Initiative. Margrethe Vestager.
The Three Seas initiative was launched in 2015 and is a flexible and informal political platform at the presidential level, bringing together the 12 EU Member States between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary. , Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The initiative aims to increase convergence and cohesion, while reducing the economic development gap between different areas and EU Member States, by increasing interconnectivity in the region, in the fields of energy, transport and digital. The basic principles of the Three Seas Initiative are: promoting economic development, increasing cohesion at European level and strengthening transatlantic ties.
Since its inception until now, four summits of the Three Seas Initiative have taken place: in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in 2016, in Warsaw (Poland) in 2017, in Bucharest (Romania) in 2018 and in Brdo (Slovenia) in 2019.
12 states between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea want to expand their infrastructure together. The initiative is now supported by the US, which wants to prevent China’s expansion into Europe, writes DW.
So far, the common intentions of the Three Seas Initiative have only progressed with difficulty. Funding was often lacking, as Member States contributed heavily to the Initiative’s mutual fund, which opened in 2019 at a Polish bank. But in February 2020, the head of the US State Department, Mike Pompeo, announced a contribution of one billion dollars to the Fund’s initiative. New financial contributions will be announced at the fifth meeting of the Three Seas Initiative, to be held on 19.10.2020 in Tallinn, Estonia. The US wants to stem Chinese influence on data networks through its “Pure 5G Network Security” initiative. This was one of the goals of the tour of the head of American diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, in Central and Eastern European countries, held in August.
While most Western European countries are still reluctant to approve access to their market for the controversial Chinese network developer, more and more Central and Eastern European countries are distancing themselves from China. On the eve of the summit of the Three Seas Initiative, host country Estonia, a European-award-winning digitization student, announced support for the US Clean Networks initiative. At the summit, Estonia will present its “Smart Connectivity” project, designed to help digitize the entire north-south axis of Europe. The meeting will be attended by US Undersecretary of State for Growth and Energy Keith Krach, as well as representatives of the Google Internet concern.
According to Dr. Kamil Zajaczkowski, director of the “European Center” at Warsaw University, the United States is using the Three Seas Initiative to impose its economic interests in the region. But it’s not just the United States that has recognized the potential of the Three Seas Initiative. After US President Donald Trump visited the summit of the Warsaw Three Seas Initiative and adopted Poland’s critical stance on the Nord Stream 2 gas project, a year later the summit of the Three Seas Initiative was visited in Bucharest by the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, who even proposed the admission of Germany in the organization. In 2019, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the summit of the Three Seas Initiative, then held in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.