Three Seas Summit Ends, Presidents Want Concrete Results

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 6, 2019 – The heads of the Three Seas Initiative states said in Brdo Pri Kranju on Thursday they did not want red tape, a secretariat and only promises, reiterating that the goal was to equalise living standards in the eastern and western EU.

At the end of a two-day summit held in Ljubljana and Brdo Pri Kranju, the 12 heads of state signed a joint declaration which contains the general and repeatedly stated commitment to boosting the EU’s economic development and cohesion by building an energy, transport and digital infrastructure.

Speaking at a press conference, they said they wanted concrete results. The conference was addressed by presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia, Borut Pahor of Slovenia, Andrzej Duda of Poland, Klaus Iohannis of Romania and Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission.

The presidents said the Three Seas Initiative was fully aligned with EU efforts, that countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership were invited to join it, and that they wanted to encourage the Commission to include their conclusions in future policies.

Juncker said these were concrete projects aimed at improving the lives of people living in the region, so the Commission helped it from the start.

The presidents welcomed the fact that this was the second time the EC president attended a summit of the Initiative, which was earlier considered a US Trojan horse against Germany, Russia or the EU.

They said the Initiative was an opportunity to hear the voice of Central Europe as the fastest growing part of the EU and that concrete results were necessary. Grabar-Kitarović said they agreed that it was necessary to eliminate unnecessary red tape barriers, improve the investment climate and step up work permit issuance.

We don’t want red tape, a secretariat and a headquarters but concrete projects and opportunities to finance them, she said and Duda reiterated it.

On Wednesday, they were named the founding mother and father of the Initiative launched in 2015. Today it comprises 12 states and is supported by the US and, recently, by Germany. The Ljubljana summit was also attended by US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and German President Franz-Walter Steinmeier.

One of the concrete results is an investment fund, led by Polish and Romanian banks, for building an energy, transport and digital infrastructure. It was launched at last year’s summit in Bucharest but put into operation at this year’s meeting. The European Investment Bank joined the fund today and negotiations are under way with other European banks as well as the World Bank.

The vision we have of erasing the differences between the so-called old and new Europe we are now turning into concrete projects which will be implemented not just with European funds, but also the investment fund we established, which I believe will be one of the more important investors in our region, said Grabar-Kitarović.

Pahor said sustainable development and preserving the environment, water resources and food were also important for the Initiative’s 12 states.

Next year’s summit will be held in Estonia.

More news about the Three Seas Initiative can be found in the Politics section.


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