The countries of the three seas initiative want and are in fact co-authors of an active and effective Central Europe, President Andrzej Duda said on the first day of the two-day summit of the initiative, which began in Bucharest on Monday.
“Fully aware of the challenges, we are continuing our ambitious policy of modernization of regions,” noted the president when addressing a debate devoted to the role of Three Seas countries in international politics. The panel, titled “The Three Seas Initiative in a Challenging International Context,” was attended by the leaders of Austria, Croatia and Romania, among other presidents.
The Polish leader welcomed the fact that, in the three years since the start of the Initiative, cooperation among participating countries is at such an advanced stage. “We are participating in the third Three Seas summit and the first Business Forum, an accompanying event, but one extremely import to us,” noted President Duda.
According to Duda these two significant events “are proof of the persistent development of the regional cooperation format.” “We have not stopped in one place, we are not limiting ourselves solely to talks, we are not confining ourselves only to political theory,” added the president.
“We want to be, and in reality we are, political practitioners, the co-creators of an effective and active Central Europe, on a global scale,” stressed President Duda.
Duda also observed that the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance have been and are “two keystones for the Three Seas Initiative.” “We are here today because we are a part of the European Union and NATO, we are aware and responsible members of the Euro-Atlantic space. This is why I can not imagine that the Three Seas could act beyond those boundaries and more so against those organisations and their values,” said the president.
President Duda also added that this rule is accompanied by one more important desire – we want to be active. We want Central Europe to be developed, a well integrated and safe part of the Euro-Atlantic world.” The president went on to say that in order to achieve this, the Three Seas Initiative is focusing on the deepening of integration in fields of key importance for economic development – energy, transport and digitalisation.
The Polish president noted that after several months of consultations the Initiative’s 12 countries came up with a list of priority projects to be of key importance for the success of economies, societies and member countries. “The Three Seas map includes such investments as the Via Baltica road and the north-south gas corridor. However, new ideas are appearing on this map – mostly, modern digital and transport solutions.”
Noting the presence at the summit of US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Duda stressed that “energy cooperation, diversification of sources of energy supplies, the development of the LNG market are fields of great importance for Poland and for the entire Three Seas region. This is why cooperation with the US seems to be a vital and key issue. We welcome the fact the Three Seas region became a strategic instrument for the US in shaping relations with Central Europe,” declared the Polish president.
During the summit’s Economic Forum, the sides signed two documents: a declaration on the establishment of a network of Three Seas chambers of commerce and a Three-Seas Business Council, as well as a letter of intent on the setting up of a Three Seas Fund.
The Three Seas Initiative is a platform for cooperation of the presidents of twelve countries situated between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. Its aim is to strengthen the cohesion of the European Union by strengthening the infrastructure, energy and economic cooperation of Central European countries. The initiative brings together Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
President Duda will fly directly from Bucharest to Washington for a Poland-US summit. The second day of the summit in Bucharest will be attended by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.