The Three Seas Initiative: Central and Eastern Europe takes charge of its own destiny

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Dubrovnik, Croatia – A two-day forum was attended by Croatia with heads of state and officials from twelve countries of Central and Eastern Europe, all members of the European Union, to discuss common challenges to strengthen economically and politically the area between the three seas – the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea. This was the Three Seas Initiative.

“The area between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea is the lifeblood of Europe,” said the host of the forum, Croatian President Grabar-Kitarović. Thursday, August 25, a round table gathered in Dubrovnik, on the cost of the Adriatic Sea, the presidents of Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovenia, as well as ministers and deputy ministers of Austria, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Romania and Slovakia.

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The region (BABS: Baltic – Adriatic – Black Sea) accounts for 28% of EU territory, 22% of its population but only for 10% of its GDP. Discussions about the economy have focused on the need to improve the infrastructure of the whole region and in particular energetic cooperation, mainly to promote the plurality of energy sources and reduce energy dependence. According to the Croatian President, 50 billion euros are needed to overcome the current shortcomings. However, she also drew attention to the major challenges of the region, namely the demographic decline and emigration.

Polish President Duda for his part stressed that cooperation should be extended to other areas to be sufficiently strong: culture and science as well as student exchanges must come to reinforce this cooperation. But the heart of this cooperation is the creation of a true north-south European axis, stressed the Polish president. In conclusion for his speech, Andrzej Duda announced that the next summit would be held in Poland in Wroclaw in June 2017.

Chinese and American speakers were also present. Chinese Ministerial Assistant for Foreign Affairs Liu Haixing in charge of Central and Eastern Europe region recalled that China was very interested in the development of the area. China believes it will serve her project of New Silk Road.

American General James L. Jones, president of Jones Group International and former adviser for the National Security of President Obama said that the development of the Three Seas Initiative must be an element not only for European development but also for security. General Jones stressed the use by Russia of her position as an energy supplier to increase her economic influence and to strengthen her geopolitical goals.

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After the meeting on Thursday, discussions continued on Friday about various topics such as migration crisis, the threat of terrorism and the instability on the Eastern border of the European Union. Challenges for which participants said they wanted a common response at a European level, and intend to put their weight to push the European Union towards the solutions they support.

The forum’s participants finally adopted a declaration called “the Three Seas Initiative”, establishing an informal platform to strengthen political ties and facilitate cross-border cooperation in the region and implementation of macro-regional projects.

 

18 Comments

  1. I hope they really try to make the Three Seas project work. I hope they don’t start arguing with each other at one point. 🙂 If I were them, I’d be extremely wary of the Chinese involvement. Can’t Central-Eastern Europe do without it? Why not?

    1. They’re broke, thats why they need Chinese money.
      The cream of their societies, their ‘brightest and best’ long since abandoned their countries to flee to Germany and the UK to work in Brothels and to pick fruit and they are not coming back either.
      Its Chinese money or its oblivion.

      1. Poland has a gold bullion reserve of 3 oz for each of its 38 million citizens. The other three Visegrad member states also have their own healthy gold bullion reserves. That is broke? Remember; the US has only a 0.4 oz of gold bullion reserve per capita reserve.

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  3. My opinion Visegrad/Three Seas,
    should have its own Political agenda.

    Balance between EU and Russia and US.

    Economic relationships with China is fine, you dont have to get to close.

    Try to improve relationship with Russia, because the current situation is a little crazy. Im not saying become Russian puppet though, just improve relations.

  4. These nations that are members of 3 Seas have thousands of immigrants and descendants in the US & Canada. These governments and like minded. NGO’s would do well to align themselves with organizations like the Polish American Congress the Polish National Catholic Church and other groups that can provide investment capital these nations need.

    These nations will need to become more self reliant militarily due to Putin aggression in Ukraine and eventual US withdrawal militarily from Europe.

    Grow closer ties with the Ukraine should also be a priority given the natural resources and large population of that nation on the borders of Poland Slovakia and Romania. Ukraine also has a large battle hardened military which can be useful. Add the Ukraine and at some future time Belarus to this initiative and you have a group of nations the world will take notice of

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