Realizing the geopolitical and economic goals of the Three Seas Initiative is not possible unless Ukraine remains a free nation, said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday during the two-day Three Seas Local Government Congress in Lublin.
The Three Seas Initiative is a major project to better integrate 12 Central and Eastern European nations, primarily in terms of energy, transportation, and digital development. However, the war in Ukraine represents a major roadblock to the project. Morawiecki emphasized that the war was a “terribly tragic event” because of crimes committed against children and women, but it also helped highlight how important cooperation between NATO eastern-flank countries is for maintaining security in the region.
“It made us realize that there is no Three Seas without a free and sovereign Ukraine,” added Morawiecki.
The Polish prime minister further said that “this was the reason why the term Intermarium also has been used instead of Three Seas in order to better convey the character of the region.“
“We often say: Central and Eastern Europe. I think that the Three Seas Initiative will be a big success especially when Central and Eastern Europe becomes the center of Europe — central to the economic growth of the EU,” said Morawiecki.
He pointed out that the previous years proved this development could actually happen. Morawiecki said that if Poland “has been called the locomotive of economic growth by top EU officials,” then it was even more likely that all of Central Europe, together with Ukraine after its reconstruction, could contribute massively to the EU’s economic growth.
Poland’s prime minister thanked all inhabitants of the eastern Polish regions of Lubelskie and Podkarpackie, which have “received the largest refugee wave since World War II.”
During the two-day congress, some 900 participants are discussing ways to foster socio-economic and scientific cooperation between local governments from Central and Eastern European countries.
Among those taking part in the congress are the 12 countries of the Three Seas Initiative; strategic partners from the EU, the U.S. and Germany; and partner regions from Eastern Europe.
The Three Seas Initiative brings together European Union countries located between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic Seas: Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.