Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) chaired the inaugural Three Seas foreign ministers' meeting from Tallinn on Tuesday, with the other participants joining him via video link.
The initiative's goals are to bring together 12 EU Member States and partners to increase growth and energy security through infrastructure investment. Greater involvement of the member states' governments will help to achieve practical results more quickly, it is argued.
The member states are Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Representatives of the initiative's partners the US, Germany and the European Commission also attended.
The meeting was an important milestone ahead of the October 19-20 Three Seas Summit and Business Forum to be held in Tallinn.
The summit will be the most important foreign policy event for Estonia in recent years, and brings heads of state, business leaders and top officials from Europe, the US and elsewhere, the foreign ministry said.
"We are going to take a practical approach to this event as well. The aim of the autumn summit is to focus on the activities of the evolving initiative, to discuss various development opportunities and find solutions suitable for the region, which will also be implemented," Reinsalu said.
The focus on Estonia as an e-state will, as ever, be on the table as well.
"In accordance with Estonia as an e-state, the focus will also be on digitalization and smart connectivity. The smart use of digital components in the construction of new infrastructure can be a competitive advantage for the whole region. This will create a suitable surface for the implementation of new business models and technologies," Reinsalu said, adding it would help make progress in green infrastructure and climate goals.
All of this should smooth the way for major transnational projects involving the private sector, Reinsalu added.
The video-linked meeting also discussed economic recovery and growth and infrastructure in the countries lying on or near the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas - the three among the organization's name - which together has a population of over 100 million.
Editor: Andrew Whyte