The first Three Seas foreign ministers meeting was an important step for advancing the initiative
Yesterday was held the first video meeting of the foreign ministers of the Three Seas region. The meeting, initiated by Estonia, discussed the inclusion of the governments of participating states in meeting the objectives of the cooperation platform. The initiative that unites 12 EU member states and partners aims to increase the economic growth and energy security of the region through infrastructure investments, and to improve connections between states. A more extensive engagement of the executive authorities can contribute to meeting these practical objectives.
The Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu stressed that the governments of various countries have the opportunity to participate in the implementation of nationwide and cross-border projects. “They can bring organisations and companies to the same table and create the preconditions for wide-ranging practical cooperation. The ministries can also show political support for broader strategic developments that can, in turn, boost the movement of private capital,” Reinsalu added.
With the Three Seas foreign ministers meeting, Estonia highlighted key points that could be the next practical results of the initiative. The ideas and cooperation emerging from the exchange of ideas contribute to economic recovery and the development of the infrastructure of the region between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas, which affects the well-being of more than a hundred million people.
The meeting was also an important milestone ahead of the Three Seas Summit and Business Forum held in Estonia on 19-20 October. It is one of the most significant foreign policy events in Estonia in recent years and brings together heads of state, business leaders and top officials from Europe, the United States and other regions. “At this event, too, we plan to take the practical view. The aim of the summit in autumn is to focus the activities of the developing initiative, to discuss various development options and come up with suitable solutions for the region that are then implemented,” the Foreign Minister of Estonia said.
“Fittingly for Estonia as an e-state, the agenda also includes digitalisation and smart connectivity. The smart application of digital components in building new infrastructure could give the whole region a competitive edge. This will create favourable conditions for implementing new business models and technologies,” Reinsalu said, adding that: “Smart connectivity, which could have an investment platform in the Three Seas Initiative, also support green infrastructure and our global climate goals.”
The meeting organised by Estonia included representatives of the Three Seas participating states (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) and the initiative’s partners (United States, Germany and the European Commission).
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Lithuania chairs the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) and is organising the 3SI Summit and an integral part of the 3SI – International Business Forum on 11 April 2024, in Vilnius. The purpose of the 3SI is to promote faster development and convergence of the region, by increasing the interconnectivity of the member states in the fields of transport, energy and digitalisation, in particular, in the region on the North-South axis, to enhance the EU's cohesion and consolidate the transatlantic partnership of the EU and US. During its presidency, Lithuania will focus on Ukraine and consolidation of transatlantic relations.
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