The President of the Republic of Slovenia attended the virtual presidential summit of the Three Seas Initiative
Ljubljana, 19. 10. 2020 | press release
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today attended the virtual presidential summit of the Three Seas Initiative. In addition to the presidents of the member states of the Initiative, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice-President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager and State Secretary of the German Foreign Ministry Michael Berger, on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Franck-Walter Steinmeier who was unable to attend, as he is in self-isolation for having been in contact with a person infected with the new coronavirus, also participated in part of the discussion.
Due to the current epidemiological situation, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, the host of this year's summit, decided to hold the meeting of the presidents of the countries involved in the Three Seas Initiative in virtual form. The focus was on digitalisation and smart connectivity. All member states are putting energy, transport and digital infrastructure projects at the forefront, placing them on the list of priority projects. The presidents of the member states of the Three Seas Initiative also adopted a joint statement.
Last year, the Three Seas Initiative was hosted by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor. The summit in Slovenia was attended by eight presidents, along with President Pahor and the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite; the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman; the President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis; the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović; the President of Latvia, Raimonds Vejonis; the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda; the President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid; the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev; as well as the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and many other distinguished guests. This was the largest political and business meeting to be held in our country so far.
The Three Seas Initiative is an initiative of 12 European Union Member States geographically located in Central and Eastern Europe between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. The purpose of the initiative is to promote infrastructure projects and investments in the economy, transport connectivity, energy infrastructure, environmental protection, research and development and digital communications.
Meetings of the initiative, which was first presented on the sidelines of the United Nations meeting in September 2015 in New York, have so far taken place at the level of presidents of the countries involved in August 2016 in Dubrovnik, July 2017 in Warsaw, September 2018 in Bucharest and June 2019 in Ljubljana and Brdo pri Kranju.
We here publish the statements delivered by Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia:
Why is the Three Seas Initiative important to Slovenia?
Geographic position of Slovenia, as well as its open economy, demand for better connectivity with neighbouring countries.
As a host of the last year’s summit of the 3SI here in Slovenia, I can openly say that the initiative has grown into a flexible platform for boosting of development of the countries located between Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas.
At the same time, faster development of 3SI countries would – according to our view - greatly contribute to wider EU prosperity.
For Slovenia, all three pillars of the Three Seas Initiative are equally important:
The economic development of the Central and Eastern Europe through infrastructure connectivity;
Secondly, increased convergence among EU Member States - this would help avoiding artificial East-West divides, and should further stimulate EU integration.
Thirdly, 3SI aims at strengthening the transatlantic ties.
From our perspective, it is very important that all three areas of interest - energy sector, transport and digital connectivity, are placed within the framework of sustainable development.
With 3SI we have a unique opportunity to transform this part of Europe into a modern, sustainable and innovative society.
Where does Slovenia see the Three Seas Initiative in 5 years’ time?
We certainly hope – and will do our best – for the 3SI to achieve better connectivity in all three areas of interest, energy, transport and digital infrastructure.
With already proven political will, and with the establishment of the 3SI Fund, we have lay a foundation for real work to start.
Our main challenge is how we manage political message.
I would not like to see 3SI to contribute to new divisions in Europe.
3SI should never be seen as a block of certain EU Member States against other EU Member States. It should rather contribute to EU unity and transatlantic ties.