Last Updated 10/07/2020
By Emma Barska
Three Seas Initiative could help jumpstart Europe’s post-COVID recovery and green economy transformation
September 29, 2020
In a recent Atlantic Council event, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, highlighted the critical role of the Three Seas Initiative in helping Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe recover from the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in supporting Europe’s Green Deal. The Three Seas Initiative, which promotes investment in energy, transport, and digital infrastructure, can ameliorate the economic conditions in the region by re-establishing and reinforcing the area’s economic momentum, and can assist the EU in meeting its climate change goals.
While the US has pledged to contribute $1 billion to the initiative, and there is a commercially managed “transparent” and “impartial” investment fund, Three Seas Initiative leaders want to attract more private and governmental investors. The engagement of the private sector specifically is essential because without private capital, the development gap between the Three Seas region and the rest of Europe in terms of energy infrastructure, digital connectivity, and cross border transport links will persist. According to Kaljulaid, the Three Seas region has incredible potential because it is “’the fastest growing part of the European Union,’” and therefore is an attractive opportunity for investors.
On October 19, leaders from the Three Seas Initiative will convene for a summit to discuss and determine the project’s direction moving forward.
V4 Group, Three Seas Initiative reaffirm Central European identity – FM
September 30, 2020
In an interview with the Hungarian Magyar Hirlap daily, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau stated that the Three Seas Initiative helps reaffirm the joint identity of Central Europe. According to the Foreign Minister, one of Poland’s foreign policy priorities is constructing energy, transport, and digital infrastructure that will increase connectivity between the twelve EU states that are participating in the project.
Estonia: Chairs of 6 states’ parliamentary committees discuss cooperation
October 6, 2020
In a virtual meeting, chairs of the foreign affairs committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary canvassed issues relating to international and regional cooperation. Chairman of the Estonian parliamentary foreign affairs committee Enn Eesmaa stated that he was “’happy that the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund has been successfully launched, allowing us to proceed with important interconnectivity projects in the region.’” According to Eesmaa, multinational collaboration, such as the Three Seas Initiative, and parliamentary diplomacy play a vital role in resolving international problems.
The upcoming Three Seas Initiative virtual summit is scheduled for October 19 and will be led by Estonia.