The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is a European effort to boost economic development and expand transportation and infrastructure between countries from the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. The 12 countries in support of this initiative are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The former Trump Administration committed one billion dollars (USD) toward the 3SI Fund, a move that Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki believes should’ve been higher considering the high pay-off the United States will have after a stronger energy market is built in Europe. The United States is one of the biggest producers of natural gas and the 3SI opens Europe up to increased imports of American liquified natural gas (LNG) compared to before. The current Biden Administration has pledged its support to the Initiative and countries such as Poland wait to see what actions President Biden will take to show that support tangibly.
In an interview with Newsweek, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki discussed the Three Seas Initiative (3SI). He explained his belief that Europe needs to improve its infrastructure from the north to the south instead of focusing on east-west connections. There has to be a stronger relationship between regions such as Scandinavia and the Balkans and the 3SI looks to improve that. Minister Morawiecki also emphasized how the United States will benefit from greater European connectivity, describing how it hopes the U.S. will continue supporting this initiative as it will strengthen the transatlantic community.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced his belief that the Three Seas Initiative has been undervalued by the United States Administration. According to Minister Morawiecki, the U.S. should be more committed to connecting countries between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas as it will increase investment and economic recovery. He believes that the initiative will help strengthen both European identity and economy, especially when looking at China and hopes that the United States plays a greater role in supporting the movement.
As U.S. President Biden visits European leaders for the first time, climate change is one of the biggest topics on his agenda. In Europe, movements propelling sustainable energy and fighting fossil fuels have gained speed, and the United States is being looked at as an ally during these times. One way it could do so is by supporting the Three Seas Initiative through increased investments. As the Initiative looks to expand energy and transport links throughout Europe, it would be a sound investment for the United States and one that would be fossil-free.
On June 10, 2021, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, met with Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkevics. During this meeting, the ministers agreed on the importance of regional cooperation, especially when it comes to movements such as the Three Seas Initiative. The two ministers were in agreement that further advancement of the iInitiative is needed and attracting new partners in Europe and beyond is of utmost importance right now. The meeting was successful in continuing the relationship between Poland and Latvia, especially as progress is made with the Three Seas Initiative.
Estonian President Kersti Kalijulaid introduced the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund to help expand business and investment within Eastern and Central European countries. This fund will support entrepreneurs investing in transportation, energy and infrastructure in the Baltic region and promote further growth in those sectors. The fund is valued at 1.2 billion euros and expected to grow at upwards of five billion euros in the future.
by PAC Intern Julia Rutkowski