Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis will be attending the 6th summit meeting of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) in Sofia, Bulgaria, July 8-9.
On July 8, he is scheduled to attend an official dinner for the summit attendees. On July 9, he will attend the summit at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, holding a joint news conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev, his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, and his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits.
The Presidential Administration says in a statement that the high-level event in Sofia marks the resumption of physical activities of the Summit, including the 3rd edition of the 3SI Business Forum, after the 2020 Virtual Summit in Tallinn held amidst the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also indicates that this year’s summit represents a new step in the process of consolidating the 3SI initiated by the substantive decisions taken at the summit hosted in Bucharest by Iohannis in September 2018, which marked the political maturation of the Initiative and its getting the necessary tools to achieve its objectives. The meeting in Bulgaria will focus on assessing progress, focusing on the implementation of the list of priority strategic interconnection projects agreed at the Bucharest Summit, which was subsequently expanded, as well as on the operation of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund, in which Romania, through EximBank, and Poland, through the Development Bank (BGK), are founding states. Decisions on landmarks for the future development of the 3SI will also be discussed and taken.
“In his speech, President Klaus Iohannis will analyse the developments that have taken place since the previous summit, will emphasise the importance of implementing priority strategic interconnection projects, focusing on projects of high interest to Romania, such as Rail2Sea and Via Carpathia, and will highlight their essential relevance for the objective of the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative and to build the strategic resilience of the economies of the participating states, including in the post-pandemic economic recovery efforts,” according to the Presidential Administration.
Also attending this year along with the 3SI national leaders will be represented leaders of the United States, Germany and the European Commission, as well as the International Monetary Fund and, as a guest, Greece.
The Three Seas Initiative is a flexible and informal political platform at presidential level, bringing together the 12 EU member states between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The initiative is designed to sustain the economic development of the countries in the region by stimulating interconnectivity in three main areas – transport, energy, digital transformation – increasing real convergence among EU member states, thus contributing to strengthening unity and cohesion within the union and strengthening the European design, as well as strengthening the transatlantic relationship, including by boosting US economic presence in the region.
At the September 17-18, 2018 Bucharest Summit, essential decisions were adopted for the future of the initiative, such as the list of major priority interconnection projects in the areas of transport, energy and digital transformation; holding the first Business Forum of the Three Seas Initiative (with over 600 officials and business representatives from the 3SI countries and other EU member states, the US, the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership, as well as representatives of the EU and international and European financial institutions); launching a network of 3SI chambers of commerce (by signing a joint declaration on the establishment of this network by seven chambers of commerce of the 12 participating states); initiating the procedure for launching the Investment Fund of the Three Seas Initiative (by signing a letter of intent on the 3SI Investment Fund by six financial institutions from the 12 participating states).