In the history of most countries, opportunities such as the Three Seas Initiative have not cropped up often. In fact, very rarely. This historic chance puts Poland in the geostrategic centre and can only be compared to the project of 1569 when the Union of Lublin gave rise to the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania, one of the most powerful states in Europe.
The Three Seas Initiative will not be an easy undertaking. Establishing a solid network of among the CEE countries on the north-south axis will surely have its numerous opponents. But it is crucial, not as a sort of resistance to Western Europe, but as a way of establishing a more egalitarian Europe in which every country is able to fulfil its potential.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with regional leaders at the summit of the Three Seas Initiative group in Warsaw on 6th July was the first step towards improving trade, infrastructure and energy links among the 12 nations between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas.
Trump’s presence in Poland showed how important this project is for the US. Stable Poland and stable Three Seas translate to stability of the whole region. In addition, Europe's headache has always been energy. If American gas can be delivered and processed in Poland, the problem will be solved completely.
The Three Seas Initiative group is made up of members of the European Union and all but one are former communist countries whose economies and infrastructure are still developing. Together, they form a market of 105 million people, making it particularly attractive for private investors. Norway, Sweden and Turkey are also often considered part of the group as they naturally belong to either the Baltic, Black or Adriatic Sea.
Most of the region’s critical infrastructure, including roads and rail services, run on an east-west corridor, partly due to Germany’s economic dominance. The project aims to develop better connections along the north-south axis in the sectors of energy, transport and digital communications in order “to complete the single European market.”
One of the key goals of the Three Seas is to promote greater energy independence from Russia, which has sometimes wielded its gas and oil as a political tool over central and eastern European states. Poland has recently received its first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the United States in Świnoujście, a port city on the Baltic coast. This really is a step in the right direction.
For further discussion of the subject, a special Law Society conference entitled ‘Doing legal business in the Visegrád Group’ will be held on 5th September 2017 in London . The seminar will focus on the practical aspects of investing in Poland and the remaining countries in the region, with emphasis on the energy sector.
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