At one of the discussion panels at the Three Seas summit in Tallinn, Estonia, the presidents of Three Seas member states discussed future investments and economic growth of Central Europe.
Polish President Andrzej Duda emphasized that economic development was always the backbone of the creation of the Three Seas. He noted that the beginning of the cooperation as part of the Three Seas was based on common history and similar economic situations.
Duda underlined that there was a search for tools to accelerate the development of Central Europe to catch up to the standard of living in the West. The Three Seas was established because it was a way to speed-up the region’s development.
The presidents of the other member states all agreed that the initiative is currently a chance for growth and investments which will become the baseline for GDP growth in Central Europe and the entire EU.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor pointed out that “a quicker development of the Three Seas will support the entire EU and will help eliminate artificial divisions between the East and the West. It will also strengthen transatlantic ties.”
The president of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, emphasized on the other hand what the Three Seas has already accomplished, including its deepening cooperation with the US, ensuring the region’s security, eliminating development gaps, fueling the region’s energy transformation, and speeding integration as part of the single market.
The Austrian president, Alexander van der Bellen, stressed that existing EU structures should not be duplicated by the Three Seas and cooperation as part of the EU should be taken into account.
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid emphasized the creation of the Three Seas Fund and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev urged other members to consider how to make decisions for the common interest and how to add international investors.
As proof of Poland’s commitment to the Three Seas Fund, the head of the Polish national development bank (BGK), Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, announced that they will contribute an additional €250 million to a total of €750 million to the fund. This means that the fund’s investment capital is close to €1 billion.
She added that investments were crucial to the Three Seas attempts to catch-up with the West in terms of development. The list of current energy infrastructure demands reaches €600 billion and includes expenditure in the sectors of energy, transport and digital infrastructure.
Daszyńska-Muzyczka underlined that public investments are a priority to rebuild the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.