The Three Seas Initiative (which is a forum of twelve EU member states between the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas) is a very important project, probably the most important geopolitical project of our time. It is because the project integrates the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe and gives them a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to grow fast and be fully independent. Most importantly, The Three Seas Initiative is not an alternative to European integration processes, but is complementary to them and contributes to the renewal of the European project.
Many believe that the cooperation among the member states should be stronger and deeper otherwise the chance will be lost. Poland plays a pivotal role in the project. If the project develops as planned – Poland and other countries of the region will continue to attract new investors because the region itself is big enough (approx. 120 m people) and has very positive connotations. Moreover, the region has the chance to become the fastest growing technological hub in the world.
Following the fall of the Iron Curtain, the region has made huge economic strides but its potential has not been fully unleashed. For many countries in the region, the main focus has been the cooperation with bigger Western European economic partners (mainly France and Germany) rather than efforts to build connections with their immediate neighbors. The main idea behind the Three Seas Initiative is to create interconnections and real possibilities of working together.
The Three Seas Initiative as it stands today is the current version of the inter-war "Intermarium", making it among Poland’s most meaningful contributions ever to European geopolitics. "Intermarium" (the Polish name Międzymorze meaning "Between-seas") was the idea proposed in the 1920s by Jozef Piłsudski as the federation of states which was meant to emulate the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The concept of federation did not work at the end but the idea of cooperation of sovereign states was inspiring to many people as a driving force of the region. No wonder, it was reopened again in 2015 as a forum for countries located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas.
The United States has recently confirmed its interest in the Three Seas Initiative by committing to invest up to USD 1 billion. This money will be paid into The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund which was established in 2019 during The Three Seas Summit in Ljubljana by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego of Poland and EximBank of Romania.
The next Three Seas Summit will take place in Estonia in October 2020. The goal of the summit is to focus the activities of the rapidly developing initiative, clarify its targets and decide how best to move forward. Whereas much of the attention in the initiative to date has been turned to transport and energy issues, the summit in Estonia will also focus on digitalisation and smart connectivity.
All countries included in the Three Seas Initiative have nothing to lose in the project; it’s the other way round – they have everything to gain. Benefits for Poland are already visible. Via Carpathia which is going to link Baltic states with southern Europe is under construction. Baltic pipe is a unique opportunity for Poland to become a regional power broker. The plans for the construction of the central airport have been disclosed, which would act as the hub for the region. The central airport is planned as Poland's most important infrastructural investment and a transit hub which will integrate air, rail and road transport.
All the initiatives connected with the project will be a perfect investment opportunity. Although Poland’s GDP will shrink by 4.3 percent in 2020, this will be the smallest expected drop in the EU amid the coronavirus crisis (according to the European Commission’s forecasts). In 2021, a speedy recovery is forecasted. The European Commission states in its latest report that Poland’s GDP is expected to rise in 2021 by 4.1 percent which is the highest rate in Europe.
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