Acasă » General Interest » Alex Șerban: The Three Seas Initiative enters the hands-on implementation stage

Alex Șerban: The Three Seas Initiative enters the hands-on implementation stage

17 September 2018
General Interest


This September, the Romanian Presidency will host the third meeting of the Three Seas Initiative focused on transport, energy and digitalization. The US President Donald Trump attended the 2nd summit (July 2017 in Warsaw, Poland), emphasizing the need for regional unity, making Europe and the transatlantic links stronger in this part of the world. In his opening remarks, President Trump states : “We support your drive for greater prosperity and security. We applaud your initiative to expand infrastructure. We welcome this historic opportunity to deepen our economic partnership with your region“. As a continuation of this position by the US Administration, the US Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, announced his intention of attending the summit and ending his visit to Romania with a dinner hosted by the Atlantic Council of the United States.

Hosting the Summit is another occasion for Romania to position itself as an active and strategic player in the regional energy and infrastructure market, highlighting the fast developing IT & digital sphere, as well as consolidating the regional defense posture for both NATO and US interests. Even more, this Initiative proved already its potential of acting as a platform for engagement between the US and Europe, all countries participating having the opportunity to explore solutions for strengthening both their economy and national security. Besides exploring solutions, the Initiative’s summit is a tremendous opportunity to build an effective platform for regional cooperation equipped with an investment fund, a secretariat and a concrete list of priority projects, which in turn can help strengthen both the European Union and NATO efforts stability and prosperity.

Speaking in Bucharest, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis underscored the main objective of the Three Seas initiative: “The regional interconnectivity must be part of the European integration process and must contribute to it. Therefore, the regional projects to interconnect transport, energy and digital marketing infrastructure, especially on the North-South axis, must thoroughly correspond to the European Union’s policies”. This year’s gathering adds a significant presence by EU Representatives, with Jean Claude Juncker leading a delegation of Commissioners and DGs heads, and also a significant approach by Germany to join the Three Seas Initiative.

Establishing of a Three Seas Fund

With US eager to build bilateral trade routes with partner countries, the business component of the Summit – in the form of a dedicated business forum with over 600 participants expected, both from the members states of the Initiative as well as American enterprises – the attendance of a US Cabinet level participant is an indicator of the importance given to the Central and Eastern part of Europe. Polish President Andrzej Duda talked during last year’s summit about the potential of over 150 infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Europe, the ties between countries and modern interdependence. These European and America concrete steps are perhaps one of the critical elements of cooperation during these challenging time for transatlantic cooperation. In the context of a more and more active and revisionist involvement by Russia in the region, particularly through economic policies and energy, and by China’s Belt & Road Initiative projects to connect Europe to Asia, the 3SI will become somewhat of a battleground in the next decades.

At this year’s Summit, the discussions will move from a political and policy level to a hands-on implementation: the establishing of a Three Seas Fund. This would act as a tangible instrument that would allow the members to implement their plans and reach their strategic goals. Presence of EIB, IFC, the World Bank and other financial institutions is also welcomed and a clear indication the resources are seriously supporting the implementation. The business approach of the Summit, as a core component of the Initiative, will allow for the evaluation and validation of opportunities that have sound and bankable business plans as a network of 12 chambers of commerce and numerous business associations and companies will gather under one roof to look ahead into the future towards interconnectivity, economic sustainability as fundamental elements for security in the region.


This article firstly appeared in the printed edition of Magazine, issued in September 2018.

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