The Presidents and their high-level representatives from the 12 participating States to the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) – Republic of Austria, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, Czech Republic, Republic of Estonia, Hungary, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Republic of Slovenia – having met in Bucharest on 17-18 September 2018, on the occasion of the 3rd Summit of the 3SI, hosted by Romania:
Agreeing that the 3SI responds to the common interest of the countries of the 3SI region for acting in a coordinated manner to harness their economic potential and facilitate more rapid development, in order to increase economic convergence within the European Union;
Confirming that the fundamental pillars and objectives of the Initiative are threefold – boosting economic development, strengthening the cohesion of the European Union and enriching the transatlantic ties;
In line with the initial purpose of the 3SI as an informal presidential platform to support pragmatic cooperation among its participating States, based on their membership in the European Union;
Highlighting that the Initiative seeks to contribute to the economic development of their States and of the region through better connectivity in the transport, energy and digital fields, especially on the North-South axis but not only, thus boosting economic relations, energy security, trade and investment flows in the region and with other partners from the Euro-Atlantic community;
Underlining that increased regional connectivity and economic convergence will enhance EU cohesion and coherence and contribute to further EU integration, thereby supporting efforts to build a more prosperous, united and secure European Union;
Confident that the economic presence of the United States in the 3SI region can contribute to the strengthening of the transatlantic link and provide an additional catalyst for an enhanced transatlantic partnership;
Aware of the Initiative’s potential to contribute to the substantiation of the EU policies addressed to the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries, and to complement efforts to bring these two regions closer to the European Union, including through increased interconnectivity;
Acknowledging the importance of high-level political commitment for the successful implementation of the main objectives of the Initiative, in full coherence with the existing EU instruments;
Acknowledging the role of national Governments in advancing the objectives of the 3SI, in cooperation with local and regional administration, as well as other public stakeholders;
Acknowledging the critical role of the private sector and financial institutions in ensuring the success of the goals of the 3SI;
Building on the results of the previous Dubrovnik 2016 and Warsaw 2017 Summits,
1. Welcome the 3SI short list of priority interconnection projects in the three key areas – transport, energy, digital, the objective of which is to streamline the political support for these projects, and encourage interested Governments, businesses and financial institutions to work together for their swift implementation. Invite all interested stakeholders to cooperate in attracting the necessary financial means for the 3SI projects, including the identification of all possible EU and other funds for their implementation;
2. Welcome the organisation, on the occasion of the Bucharest Summit, of the 1st edition of the 3SI Business Forum, as decided in the Warsaw Joint Declaration of 2017, which gathered over 600 officials and business representatives from the participating States, from other EU Member States, from the US, from non-EU States from the broad region of South-East Europe, and encourage that the 3SI Business Forum becomes a regular event, preferably on an annual basis;
3. Welcome the creation of the 3SI Network of Chambers of Commerce, on the occasion of the 1st edition of the 3SI Business Forum, by the Joint Statement for the creation of the 3SI Network of Chambers of Commerce, signed by the Chambers of Commerce intending to participate in the network, with the objective to support the future activities of the 3SI Business Forum and to facilitate contacts among business communities in the region;
4. Acknowledge the signing, on the occasion of the 3SI Business Forum, of the Letter of Intent in relation to the establishment of the Three Seas Investment Fund by relevant financial institutions intending to participate in the Fund. Once created, it will aim at pipelining, supporting and financing of the priority interconnection projects welcomed by the Summit, as well as other future 3SI projects;
5. Agree on the need to monitor, stimulate and support the implementation of the 3SI priority interconnection projects, and, to this purpose, encourage a more active engagement of the private sector;
6. Welcome the launch of a website dedicated to the 3SI (www.three-seas.eu), the domain management of which will be taken over by the hosts of each of the future Summits;
7. Take note of the 1st Forum of Regions of the 3SI in Rzeszów, Republic of Poland, on 3 July 2018, as a practical contribution, at regional level, to promote the objectives of the 3SI. We encourage other 3SI regions to follow suit;
8. Welcome the involvement, support and interest from partner states and institutions, namely the Governments of the United States and Germany, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank Group including through their high-level participation to the 3rd 3SI Summit, and agree to continue to invite them and other interested actors, pending the consensual decision of the participating States, to the future 3SI Summits, as well as to the future editions of the 3SI Business Forum;
9. Welcome the attendance of Government officials and companies from non-EU States from the broad region of South-East Europe to the 1st edition of the 3SI Business Forum, and agree to continue to invite their officials and companies to the future editions of the 3SI Business Forum.
The representatives of the national Chambers of Commerce of 7 participating states to the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) – Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, have met in Bucharest on September 17, 2018, on the occasion of the first edition of the Three Seas Business Forum.
On this occasion, they acknowledged the following as regards the 3SI objectives:
- It is an informal Presidential platform which provides for strong and sustained political support to foster a more effective cooperation of governments, business entities and non-governmental organizations interested in boosting regional cooperation, encompassing 12 EU member states in the region between the Adriatic, Baltic and the Black Seas.
- It responds to the commonality of interests of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for more rapid development, in particular as regards infrastructure on the North-South Axis, but not only, in order to achieve real convergence with the rest of the EU.
- It is focused on three main fields – transport, energy, digital – without excluding other areas of interest in which greater connectivity can foster more economic development.
- It seeks to propagate a virtuous circle of regional interconnectivity as part and concrete contribution to the process of deepening European integration and overall competitiveness, facilitate economic growth and multiply economic opportunities across the EU.
- It is a regional contribution to strengthening the transatlantic link. The US economic presence in the region provides a catalyst for strengthened cooperation, among the states of the region and as part of the Transatlantic Partnership in general.
- The active participation of the private sector role is critical to the 3SI’s success and sustainability in the long-term.
- The Three-Seas Business Forum will facilitate the public-private engagement necessary to ensure the fulfilment of the 3SI’s ambitious goals for lasting development across the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Sea region.
- The Three-Seas Business Forum will be open to the participation of companies and Government representatives from other EU states, the US, non-EU states from South East Europe and Eastern Neighborhood, representatives of the European Commission and European/international financial institutions.
Building on the Joint Statement signed in Dubrovnik by five chambers of commerce of the 3SI, on 26 August 2016, the 7 National Chambers of Commerce gathered in Bucharest on the occasion of the first 3SI Business Forum, have agreed the following:
- to formalise the creation of the 3SI Network of National Chambers of Commerce with the purpose supporting the activities of the Business Forum and connecting the business communities in the region.
- to promote the implementation of priority interconnectivity projects in the Three Seas area, in particular in the fields of transport, energy and digital, which can be existing common economic projects, but also new projects, by attracting new business opportunities, including investments;
- to cooperate with the host state in the annual organisation of the Three Seas Business Forum, in the margins of the 3SI Summit;
- to act in accordance with the general objectives of the 3SI as set above;
- to implement and promote the 3SI economic objectives in line with the EU policies, in cooperation with EUROCHAMBRES and other EU business support organizations;
- to devote special attention to high potential areas like SMEs, young entrepreneurship, start-ups and business incubators, inter alia, by facilitating the relevant exchange of know-how among participants;
- to act together for obtaining the EU and other international organizations financial support for common projects.
Signed in Bucharest, Romania, on September 17, 2018.
Last year, I had the honor of speaking at the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum in Warsaw, Poland. During my visit, I reaffirmed the United States’ strong support for the Three Seas Initiative and our shared focus on expanding infrastructure, enhancing business connections, strengthening energy security, and reducing barriers to free, fair, and reciprocal trade in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Three Seas Initiative has great potential to deliver on these and other important areas of cooperation. New energy infrastructure is essential to supporting deeper economic integration, opening access to new markets, and diversifying energy sources throughout the region. I applaud Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia for the progress they have made to support energy diversification through the construction of gas pipeline infrastructure.
The United States remains a proud partner in these efforts through liquefied natural gas exports to this strategically important region and the participation of American companies in the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum. At many levels, our country remains committed to working with the 12 member nations to continue expanding energy, transportation, and digital infrastructure.
I send my thanks to the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis for convening this important event and to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry for leading the American delegation. I look forward to hearing about our shared progress on new investment projects and business partnerships. The United States pledges to remain a strong ally and partner in this Initiative as we continue to focus on achieving even greater wealth and security in the 21st century.
I send my best wishes for a productive and successful forum.