Three Seas Summit Supports 11 Croatian Priority Projects

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 18, 2018 – A Three Seas Initiative summit in Bucharest confirmed on Tuesday a list of 40 priority projects aimed at bolstering the economic development of central European countries so as to reduce as much as possible the gap between old and new Europe, and participants strongly supported transatlantic ties and the region’s energy independence.

The Three Seas Initiative has supported a short list of priority interconnection projects in three key areas – energy, transport and digitalisation, the host, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, said at the closing press conference. The Initiative has reached maturity and lying ahead is the key part, project realisation, he added.

The confirmation of the list of projects matching the common interest of central and east European countries, intended to erase the differences between old and new Europe, is the key outcome of the Initiative’s third summit.

On Monday, on the fringes of a business forum held for the first time alongside an Initiative summit, the Initiative’s countries signed an agreement on a network of chambers of commerce and a letter of intent to set up an Initiative fund.

Of the 40 projects presented at the summit, 11 are Croatian. Basic funding comes from the European Union and most meet the funding requirements. The Initiative fund should help co-finance those that do not.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said at a joint press conference the Initiative, in its core, was oriented towards the progress and prosperity of the EU, but that it must also contribute to the economic development of central Europe in order to erase the differences between Europe’s east and west.

Iohannis said the summit showed the Initiative was pro-European and pro-transatlantic, as proven by the attendance of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

Iohannis said he was glad Juncker accepted the invitation to attend. He said one of the summit goals was the bolstering of transatlantic ties, and that US economic presence in the region was a catalyst of cooperation.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in particular pushed for ties with the US, while Grabar-Kitarović said transatlantic ties were one of the Initiative’s pillars alongside economic convergence and cohesion.

US President Donald Trump supported the Three Seas Initiative last year by attending its summit in Warsaw, and this year he reiterated his support with a message on Monday, saying the US will remain a strong ally. This year the Initiative wants also the support of the EU and its other member states, notably Germany, whose Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attended the Bucharest summit.

The fourth summit will be held in Slovenia next year.


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