The Three Seas Project is an initiative that brings together twelve EU Member States triangularly connected from the Baltic, Black and the Adriatic seas. The impressive players are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Like never before, they want to move the action and progress to a higher and unparalleled level.
A Truly Untapped Potential of Unimaginable Economic Benefit By area, the Three Seas countries represent almost a third of the European Union and are home to over 111 million people. However, figures dating back to 2018 show that their basic GDP per capita is only 78% of the EU average. At the same time, the medium economic growth in the twelve countries from 2015-2019 was a remarkable 3.5% compared to 2.1% in the rest of the European Union. The IMF figures show that the Three Seas countries posted an average economic growth of 2.9% in 2020, compared to the 1.6% for the European Union as a whole.
The Birth of the Three Seas initiative
Attention was drawn to Europe’s disparity in development in 2014 by a US think tank, the Atlantic Council, in a report entitled ‘Completing Europe’. This inspired the then heads of state of two countries – President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia and President Andrzej Duda of Poland – to launch an initiative, which has gone on to attract more and more senior figures and leading players from the worlds of business and politics. Each year, the Three Seas story gains a new chapter that looks to the future.
To date, Three Seas Initiative summits have been held four times at the presidential level. What started out as a platform for the exchange of thoughts among the presidents of the countries involved, has expanded to include an annual business forum and the launch of an investment fund operating on a commercial basis. Politicians at executive levels of power in twelve countries are also becoming increasingly involved in the initiative, and both Germany and the United States have become partners to it.
From the outset, the Three Seas was designed to complement rather than compete with the European Union. This is reflected in the close involvement of the European Commission in the initiative and its participation in all the most recent summits.
MIC leadership is delighted to start the New Year 2022 by engaging and becoming part of this extraordinary platform and unique opportunity.