The Tallinn Creative Hub hosts the Three Seas Initiative Virtual Summit on Monday. President Kersti Kaljulaid said that Estonia brought Smart Connectivity into its focus to help find ways to use infrastructure more effectively.
"Estonia wanted to add a practical dimension to the Three Seas Initiative and shape it into a more practical form of cooperation as opposed to simply a platform for exchanging ideas," Kaljulaid explained.
"We have achieved those goals. Estonia's leadership has deepened cooperation on the level of governments, the number of countries that have joined the Three Seas Initiative investment fund has grown notably, the Three Seas Secretariat has been created as well as a Smart Connectivity treatment that will help us find ways to make more effective use of infrastructure.
President Kaljulaid also said during the virtual summit that the Three Seas Region has been pulling the European Union's economic growth for years and creating better links and smart connectivity will help the 3SI economies maintain their growth pace.
The first half of the summit saw the participation of several other Eastern and Central European heads of state, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Polish President Andrzej Duda and his Bulgarian colleague Rumen Radev are in Tallinn for the event, as is the United States Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach.
The Three Seas Region comprises 12 Central and Eastern European EU countries: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – as well as Poland, Bulgaria and Estonia – and its accompanying Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is focused on closing the infrastructure investment gap – put by some sources at over €1 trillion – between the region and its relatively more well-heeled western European EU counterparts.
The initiative prescribes cooperation mostly for the development of energy, transport and digital sector infrastructure. Cooperation is aimed at economic growth, residents' prosperity and boosting Europe's competitive ability, as well as energy security and an energy market based on open competition and hitting climate targets through smart investments.
Editor: Marcus Turovski