Three Seas Initiative

Last updated
Three Seas Initiative

Three Seas Initiative EU.svg
The European Union and the twelve member states of the Three Seas Initiative
Membership
Establishment2016
Area
 Total
1,218,975 km2 (470,649 sq mi)
Population
 Estimate
112,194,126
GDP  (nominal)2019 estimate
 Total
$2.1 trillion [1]
 Per capita
$17,000
Website
3seas.eu

The Three Seas Initiative, also known as the Baltic, Adriatic, Black Sea (BABS) Initiative, or simply the Three Seas (in Latin, Trimarium), is a forum of twelve states in the European Union, along a north–south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea in Central and Eastern Europe. [2] The Initiative aims to create an Intermarium-based regional dialogue on various questions affecting the member states. The member states are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and met for their first summit in 2016, in Dubrovnik.

Contents

Trivia

The twelve Three Seas countries cover 29 per cent of the EU’s territory (1,210,000 km2), are home to 25 per cent of its inhabitants (112 million) and produce 19 per cent of its GDP (based on purchasing power parity). [3]

History

The current initiative is influenced by the Polish interwar Intermarium concept. The modern Three Seas Initiative was launched in 2015 by Polish President Andrzej Duda and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. [3] It held its first summit in Dubrovnik (Croatia) on 25–26 August 2016. The two-day event ended with a declaration of co-operation in economic matters, particularly in the field of energy as well as transport and communications infrastructure. [2] Polish President Andrzej Duda called the initiative "a new concept to promote Europe's unity and cohesion, it is an idea of cooperation among 12 countries located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas, the three seas of Central Europe." [4] Guest speakers included Chinese Ministerial Assistant for Foreign Affairs Liu Haixing, who talked about the interconnectedness with the Chinese government's Belt and Road Initiative, and former US National Security Advisor, General James L. Jones, who stressed the initiative's role in European development and security. [5] [6]

Second summit, 2017 Warsaw

The initiative's second summit was held 6–7 July 2017 in Warsaw. US President Donald Trump attended the summit. [7] [8] The participating countries unanimously agreed to set up a Three Seas Business Forum. [9] [10]

Third summit, 2018 Bucharest

The initiative's third summit took place 17-18 September 2018 in Bucharest. Participants approved a list of priority interconnection projects in the three key areas – transport, energy and digital. [11] President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry attended the summit as guests. The first edition of the Business Forum was organised at this time. 3SI Network of Chambers of Commerce was created and Letter of Intent in relation to the establishment of the Three Seas Investment Fund was signed here. [12] [13]

DateLocationHosting leaderNotes
12016
25–26 August
Flag of Croatia.svg Dubrovnik, Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović [14] [15]
22017
6–7 July
Flag of Poland.svg Warsaw, Poland Andrzej Duda U.S. President Donald Trump attended. [16]
32018
17–18 September
Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest, Romania Klaus Iohannis E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry attended. [17]
42019
5–6 June
Flag of Slovenia.svg Ljubljana, Slovenia Borut Pahor E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry attended. [18] [19]
52020
19–20 October [20]
Flag of Estonia.svg Tallinn, Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid [21]

Projects

Donald Trump's visit to Poland, July 2017 President Donald J. Trump Leads a Bilateral Meeting with President Andrzej Duda, July 6, 2017.jpg
Donald Trump's visit to Poland, July 2017
2018 Three Seas summit in Bucharest The Bulgarian Head of State is on a visit to Romania to take part in the Three Seas initiative summit 2018 10.jpg
2018 Three Seas summit in Bucharest

The initiative is closely related to two major infrastructure projects in the region: [22]

Other projects are the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor, Via Baltica road, Rail Baltica and Amber Rail Freight Corridor [23] rail connections. [24]

Three Seas Investment Fund

The initial two founding institutions from Poland and Romania have committed themselves to make payments totaling more than 500 million euros. [25] The Fund is open to other Three Seas countries, which may join it after obtaining appropriate permits. The Supervisory Board of the Fund consists of representatives of development banks from Poland, Romania, Latvia,[ citation needed ] and the Czech Republic. [26] [27]

In 2019, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and Export–Import Bank of Romania [28] signed the founding act of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund. [29] The fund is to focus on projects creating transport, energy and digital infrastructure in the Three Seas region. Private investors from pension funds, private investment funds, and other entities will also be invited to the fund. The aim is to raise up to EUR 3-5 billion. [25]

The fund will engage, on a commercial basis, in infrastructure projects with a total value of up to EUR 100 billion, [30] [31] while the needs of the Three Seas region have been estimated at over EUR 570 billion. [32] Its goal is to activate other sources of financing, such as the resources of individual countries of the region or EU funds.

Prior to the 2020 Tallinn Summit, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged up to a billion dollars in financing for the Investment Fund. [33]


Perception

Czechia [34]

The Three Seas Initiative was at the beginning perceived by local experts and diplomats in the Czech Republic rather negatively. It was seen as a Polish attempt to create its sphere of influence (similar to the historical perception of Intermarium). Further fears were related to a possibility of deepening the East-West division in the EU and exclusion of Germany. A long term Czech objection is that there should be no competing geopolitical project in the region that would weaken the EU. Some of those objections have been partially addressed lately also due to a good experience with cooperation on infrastructure projects in the Visegrad group.

See also

Related Research Articles

Central Europe Region of Europe

Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. Central Europe occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical, social and cultural identity and is a patchwork of territories that are traditionally Catholic and Protestant. The Thirty Years' War between Catholicism and Protestantism was a significant shaping process in the history of Central Europe, and neither side was able to prevail in the region as a whole. Historically, Central Europe comprised of the most territories of the Holy Roman Empire and the territories belonging to the two adjacent kingdoms to the east. Hungary and parts of Poland were later parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, which was also a significant shaping force in its history. Unlike their Western European counterparts, few Central European states had any overseas colonies, owing to both their central location and other factors. This has often cited as one of the causes of the World War I. After World War II, Central Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain to the parts belonging to the West and those of the Eastern bloc. The Berlin Wall was the most visible symbol of that division.

Visegrád Group

The Visegrád Group, Visegrád Four, or V4, is a cultural and political alliance of four countries of Central Europe, all of which are members of the EU and of NATO, to advance co-operation in military, cultural, economic and energy matters with one another and to further their integration to the EU.

Central European Free Trade Agreement

The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is an international trade agreement between countries mostly located in Southeastern Europe. Founded by representatives of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, CEFTA expanded to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and the UNMIK.

Central European Initiative

The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a forum of regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, counting 18 member states. It was formed in Budapest in 1989. The CEI headquarters have been in Trieste, Italy, since 1996.

Intermarium Proposed country during World War I

Intermarium was a geopolitical project conceived by politicians in successor states of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in several iterations, some of which anticipated the inclusion as well of other, neighboring states. The proposed multinational polity would have extended across territories lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, hence the name meaning "Between-Seas".

Exim Bank is The Export–Import Bank of Romania based in Bucharest. It was founded in 1992 as a public limited company, the Romanian state being the majority shareholder. Currently, the majority of the shares, ie 95.3%, is managed by the Ministry of Finance, the other shareholders are SIF Banato Crisana - 0.31%, SIF Moldova - 0.31%, SIF Transilvania - 0.31%, SIF Muntenia - 0.42% and SIF Oltenia - 3.27%.

Cyprus–Egypt relations

Cypriot–Egyptian relations refer to bilateral relations between Cyprus and Egypt. Due to the strong cultural and historical ties between the two nations, Cyprus and Egypt today enjoy friendly, and strategic relations. Modern diplomatic relations between the two countries were established soon after Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, and are regarded as cordial. Cyprus has an embassy in Cairo and Egypt has an embassy in Nicosia.

East-Central Europe is the region between German-, West Slavic- and Hungarian-speaking Europe and the Eastern Slavic lands of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Those lands are described as situated "between two": "between two worlds, between two stages, between two futures". In the geopolitical sense, East-Central Europe can be considered alongside Western and Eastern Europe, as one of the "Three Europes".

Eastern Partnership

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative of the European External Action Service of the European Union (EU) together with EU, its Member States, and six Eastern European Partners governing its relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The EaP is intended to provide an avenue for discussions of trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and its Eastern European neighbours. It also aims at building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity, stability, and increased cooperation. The project was initiated by Poland and a subsequent proposal was prepared in co-operation with Sweden. It was presented by the foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden at the EU's General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 26 May 2008. The Eastern Partnership was inaugurated by the European Union in Prague, Czech Republic on 7 May 2009.

The International Visegrad Fund is an international donor organization promoting development of closer cooperation among the Visegrad Group (V4) countries—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The main aim of the fund is to strengthen the ties among people and institutions in Central and Eastern Europe through giving support to regional non-governmental initiatives. The Fund is the only institutionalized form of regional cooperation of the Visegrad Group countries.

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is an educational project of the European Union bringing together government institutions and NGOs from EU countries active in research, documentation, awareness raising and education about the crimes of totalitarian regimes. Its membership include 62 government agencies and NGOs from 20 EU member states as well as from the United States, such as the Institute of National Remembrance, the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, the Stasi Records Agency and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The platform has offices in Prague and Brussels (formerly). The President of the platform is Łukasz Kamiński, former President of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.

The Belt and Road Initiative, formerly known as One Belt One Road or OBOR for short, is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations. It is considered a centerpiece of Communist Party of China general secretary Xi Jinping's foreign policy.

Craiova Group

The Craiova Group (Quadrilateral), Craiova Four, or C4 is a cooperation project of four European states – Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration as well as economic, transport and energy cooperation with one another. The Group originated in a summit meeting of the heads of governments of Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, held on 24 April 2015 in the Romanian city of Craiova. At the group's inaugural meeting, Romania's then-Prime Minister Victor Ponta indicated that he was inspired by the Visegrád Group. Romania and Bulgaria both joined the European Union on 1 January 2007, while Serbia has been in accession negotiations since January 2014. Since October 2017 at the meeting in Varna, Bulgaria, with the inclusion of Greece, meetings have been quadrilateral.

The Visegrád Battlegroup or V4 EU Battlegroup is an EU Battlegroup led by Poland, in which the other fellow Visegrád Group countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary participate. It was on standby from 1 January until 30 June 2016 and is scheduled to go on standby from 1 July until 31 December 2019 and in the first half of 2023.

Poland in the European Union overview about Poland in the European Union

Poland has been a member state of the European Union since 1 May 2004, with the Treaty of Accession 2003 signed on 16 April 2003 in Athens as the legal basis for Poland's accession to the EU. The actual process of integrating Poland into the EU began with Poland's application for membership in Athens on 8 April 1994, and then the confirmation of the application by all member states in Essen from 9–10 December 1994. Poland's integration into the European Union is a dynamic and continuously ongoing process.

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) is a Polish national development bank with headquarters in Warsaw, is a state-owned bank in Poland, operating under a dedicated bill of law. Its main tasks are: support and servicing of export transactions, issuing governmental guarantees, and support of housing.

Central European Defence Cooperation

The Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) is a military collaboration consisting of the Central European states of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Poland has an observer status in this cooperative framework.

Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries is an initiative by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote business and investment relations between China and 17 countries of CEE (CEEC) – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Startup Poland Polish technology think tank

The Startup Poland Foundation is a Polish think tank and a non-governmental organization established to raise awareness of the economic potential of startup companies among the public administration, and to represent the Polish startup community in the regulatory processes.

Polish irredentism

Polish irredentism, or Greater Poland, is a term applied to certain currents within Polish nationalism. In one sense, it refers to the territorial scope of the Poles, emphasising the ethnicity of those Poles living outside Poland. In the political sense the term refers to an irredentist belief in the equivalence between the territorial scope of the Polish people and that of the Polish state.

References

  1. "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". www.imf.org.
  2. 1 2 "Dubrovnik Forum adopts declaration called "The Three Seas Initiative"". EBL News. 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  3. 1 2 https://pie.net.pl/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/PIE-Three-Seas.pdf
  4. "President of the Republic of Poland / News / Minister Szczerski: Three Seas initiative to boost European unity". Prezydent.pl. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  5. "The Three Seas Initiative: Central and Eastern Europe takes charge of its own destiny | Visegrád Post". Visegradpost.com. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  6. Ansley, Rachel. "Making the Three Seas Initiative a Priority for Trump". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  7. "Trump trip to Poland forces 3 Seas summit change". Fox News. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  8. CNBC (2017-07-04). "FACTBOX-Three Seas Initiative summit in Warsaw" . Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  9. "President Rumen Radev in Warsaw: the Joint Projects and Investments of the Central and Eastern European Countries will Make the European Union Stronger". President.bg. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  10. "2018 Summit – Three Seas Initiative". Three-seas.eu. Archived from the original on 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  11. "The Three Seas Initiative-Priority Interconnection Projects" (PDF). Three-seas.eu. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  12. "Press releases". Three Seas Initiative. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  13. "Croatian President at Third Three Seas Initiative Summit". Croatia Week. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  14. "Dubrovnik Forum adopts declaration called "The Three Seas Initiative"". EBL News. 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  15. "The Three Seas Initiative: Central and Eastern Europe takes charge of its own destiny". Visegrád Post. 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  16. "Read Donald Trump's Remarks at the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Poland". Time. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  17. Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Three Seas summit in Bucharest seeks backing from Western Europe | DW | 17.09.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  18. "Pobuda Tri morja", Wikipedija, prosta enciklopedija (in Slovenian), 2019-06-05, retrieved 2019-06-05
  19. "Czech and Croatian Presidents Advocate Stronger Central Europe". Total Croatia News. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  20. "Three Seas Summit and Business Forum". 3seas.eu.
  21. "Foreign Minister Reinsalu: we are ready to host the Three Seas Initiative summit in Estonia | Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Vm.ee. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  22. "Poland hopes to tap Trump's business acumen at regional summit". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  23. "Amber Rail Freight Corridor". Rfc-amber.eu.
  24. "From Warsaw to Bucharest - The Way Forward for the Three Seas Initiative". Viacarpatia.eu.
  25. 1 2 "Three Seas Initiative Summit urges EU to consider its goals". www.sloveniatimes.com. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  26. "Three Seas Initiative Gets Investment Fund". www.total-croatia-news.com. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  27. "The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund officially established". media.bgk.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  28. "Iohannis at the summit of the Three Seas Initiative :The US economic presence in the region is a true catalyst for co-operation". www.actmedia.eu. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  29. "Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund established | Central Europe Energy Partners". www.ceep.be. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  30. staff, Editorial (2018-08-21). "Polish Briefing: The Three Seas Fund will finance energy investments". BiznesAlert EN. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  31. Patricolo, Claudia (2019-06-11). "Polish and Romanian banks establish Three Seas investment fund". Emerging Europe | News, Intelligence, Community. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  32. "New fund to supplement EU infrastructure project financing | News". Institutional Real Estate, Inc. 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  33. "US commits $1 billion dollars to develop Central European infrastructure". February 15, 2020.
  34. "Poláci odhalili projekt Trojmoří. Propojení Pobaltí s jihovýchodem EU přitahuje americké miliardy". Hospodářské noviny CS (in Czech). 2020-10-06. Retrieved 2020-10-08.