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Three Seas Initiative

The goal of the Three Seas Initiative is to strengthen links in the wider central Europe region (between the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas), and thus provide a sustainable basis for growth in energy, transport, digital communication, and the economy.

It was set up as a cooperation forum for 12 countries — Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Comprising almost one third of the total surface of the European Union, countries belonging to the Three Seas Initiative have a population of over 112 million. The region is experiencing a stable economic growth and a small unemployment rate.

A priority for the Three Seas Initiative is to build a coherent and well integrated infrastructure in Central Europe, which will make it possible to make up for a development gap that exists for historical reasons. As a result, the infrastructural and economic disparities of the European single market will be reduced and this will heal the EU's division into less and more developed areas of integration. The largest added value of the Initiative is to ensure political support at the highest level of public authorities for investment in areas that until now have been neglected in cooperation between countries of the Central European region. The Three Seas Initiative is thus of a pro-European nature and is complementary to the existing regional cooperation formats.

The first meeting of the Initiative took place in New York on 29 September 2015, while the first official Three Seas summit was held in Dubrovnik on 25 August 2016. Its participants adopted a joint statement, in which they agreed that "the momentum behind a comprehensive Adriatic–Baltic–Black Sea area cooperation, both within the European Union and across the broader transatlantic space, has to be reinvigorated, without creating a parallel structure to the existing mechanisms of cooperation." The countries endorsed the Three Seas Initiative as an informal platform for securing support for projects in the energy, transportation, digital communication, and economic sectors in Central and Eastern Europe.

The second Three Seas summit was held in Warsaw on 6 and 7 July 2017. It was co-hosted by Polish President Andrzej Duda and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, with US President Donald Trump as a special guest. The summit's accompanying event was the Global Forum, a meeting of government, business and media representatives together with leading experts on the Euro-American relationship.

The Three Seas Initiative held its third summit in Bucharest on 17 and 18 September 2018. Its participants adopted a joint declaration which extended the business and economic nature of cooperation under the Initiative. This will be furthered by the objectives achieved at the Third Three Seas Summit: the signing of a joint statement to create a Network of Three Seas Chambers of Commerce, the signing of the letter of intent to establish a Three Seas Fund, and the adoption of a catalogue of priority projects. Apart from the leadership of the 12 Three Seas states, the Third Bucharest Summit was also attended by US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, and Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu