Watch live: Three Seas Summit follow-up seminar ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The 12 countries participating in the Three Seas Initiative (in blue).
The 12 countries participating in the Three Seas Initiative (in blue). Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A Three Seas Virtual Summit follow-up seminar takes place Wednesday afternoon and can be watched live here.

The seminar focuses on some of the key areas in focus at last week's high-level Three Seas Virtual Summit in Tallinn, particularly digital integration into business models, and the Smart Connectivity vision.

Smart Connectivity was unveiled at the Tallinn summit, attended by President Kersti Kaljulaid and her Polish and Bulgarian counterparts, Andrzej Duda and Rumen Radev, and focuses on connecting the 12 Three Seas Region countries – all EU nations from the Central and Eastern European region (see map) – in more effective, digitally plugged-in and environmentally-friendly ways.

Transport between the countries, particularly on its north-south axis, has long been in bad shape in comparison with the Three Seas countries' western EU neighbors – something the Thee Seas Initiative (3SI) addresses.

Wednesday's seminar aims to bolster digital sector interconnection projects, which only make up around 17 percent of the €85.49 billion-valued priority projects.

"To introduce the report and boost the development of smart projects, the host for the Virtual Three Seas Summit is organizing a virtual event to dive deeper into the world of the Three Seas' projects with special emphasis on the digital approach and digital projects," the Three Seas website explains.

The seminar starts at 3 p.m. Estonian time on Wednesday and can be viewed by clicking the link above.

The seminar will be in English, hosted by Sandra Särav, who is joined by Tiit Riisalo from the President's Office, Peep Siitam from the Energy Storage Pakri OÜ, Kristel Jakobson from the 3SI Secretariat, and Ville Sirviö as the CEO of Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions, wioth more presenters to be announced.

Estonia was 3SI host nation this year and officially handed over the role to Bulgaria at last week's summit.

Andrzej Duda and Poland lobbied for the project from 2015 onward and the first Three Seas summit took place the following year.

This year's summit was largely conducted remotely due to coronavirus considerations, but in addition to unveiling the Smart Connectivity vision, saw a guaranteed €300 million in U.S. money with the potential for this to rise to €1 billion, as announced by U.S. Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach, who attended the summit in person.

The 3SI has an accompanying investment fund (3SIIF) managed by Amber Infrastructure based in London. The target level for the entire fund is around €3-5 billion, with steps made in that direction via pledges from the U.S., the 3SI participating states and others at last week's summit. The fund is principally aimed at attracting international investment into 3SI infrastructure projects, which focus on transport, digital, energy and environmental areas.

Concerns about the Three Seas region being treated as a separate and distinct region within the EU, and any potential tug-of-war over the region between the U.S. and the EU, were also addressed at the summit, which was also attended remotely by European Vice Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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