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Three Seas Initiative Summit in Bucharest

By Jerom Bolt
President Klaus Iohannis will host the third Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, September 17-18.
According to a press statement released by the Presidential Administration, the summit in Bucharest will provide a political opportunity to validate the strategic guidelines that underlie the future development of the Three Seas Initiative.
'The main objective of this flexible policy platform is economic development of the Central and South-Eastern European countries by increasing interconnectivity, especially on the North-South axis, in three main areas - transport, energy, digital - and boosting competitiveness of the economies of the participating countries. The second objective is to increase real convergence among the EU member states, thus contributing to the strengthening of unity and cohesion within the European Union in order to allow the continuation of the European integration policy as a basis for the relaunch of the European project. Thirdly, the initiative is designed to contribute to strengthening the transatlantic relationship by encouraging the US economic presence in the region as a catalyst for enhanced co-operation and as part of the transatlantic partnership,' says the Presidential Administration.
The summit hosted by President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest is also thought to contribute to the process of developing regional co-operation, marking the transition of the initiative to a stage of tangible results. Thus, the summit aims to express the political support of the participating states to the initiative on a regional list of priority interconnection projects in the fields of energy, transport and digital put forth by the national governments of the participating states; the creation of a network of chambers of commerce in the participating states; taking steps to set up an investment initiative for the Three Seas Initiative and officially launching the initiative's website.
On the side-lines, the first edition of the Business Forum of the Three Seas Initiative, cohosted by the Presidential Administration of Romania and the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be held at Romexpo, under the high patronage of the President of Romania, in co-operation with the Atlantic Council of the United States and the National School of Political and Administrative Studies of Bucharest (SNSPA).
The Business Forum will be attended by companies and government officials from the partner countries of the initiative, other EU member states, the United States of America, the Western Balkans, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, representatives of the European Commissionm and European and international financial institutions, as well as representatives of think-tanks and academia.
The Presidential Administration shows that the forum's objective is to stimulate business initiatives and investment in the region, to discuss the implementation of priority projects, and to address potential growth and innovation factors such as SMEs, young entrepreneurs, start-ups and business incubators in the region. Business-to-business and business-to-government meetings, as well as policy debate panels will be organised as part of the forum to analyse the strategic implications of developments within the initiative.
President Iohannis will open the Business Forum on Monday, and afterwards he will attend a presidential plenary session with his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, his Austrian counterpart Alexander van der Bellen, and European Commissioner for Regional Development Corina Cretu.
On Monday evening, Iohannis will host at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace a cultural event dedicated to the Centennial of Modern Romania and a gala dinner with a prestigious participation.
On Tuesday, the plenary session of the summit will be held, which will be moderated by President Klaus Iohannis. Later, the head of state will give press statements, alongside the Croatian and Polish presidents, and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
Representation of the participating states at the summit in Bucharest will be provided at the highest level through the presence of nine country presidents, two chairs of national Parliaments, a prime minister and a minister of foreign affairs.
Also represented at the summit as partners of the Three Seas Initiatives will be the European Commission, by President Jean-Claude Juncker; the governments of the United States of America, by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Germany, by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, as well as European and international financial institutions, by President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sir Suma Chakrabarti, and President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer. The World Bank will also be represented at the summit.
The Three Seas Initiative is a flexible and informal, presidential political platform bringing together the 12 European Union member states located between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea - Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The first two summits of the initiative took place in Dubrovnik in 2016 and in Warsaw in 2017.
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