‘Adriatic – Baltic – Black Sea. Visions of Cooperation’ – summary of the project

The Institute for Eastern Studies has just finished a series of debates promoting the publication ‘Adriatic – Baltic – Black Sea. Visions of Cooperation’. The project has been financed by the Department of Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland within the framework of a competition “Cooperation in the field of public diplomacy 2017”.

The Three Seas Initiative is a project aimed at promoting and developing economic cooperation among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The project – understood today as strenghtening of infrastructural cooperation in the region – may develop on many levels.

During the first presentation in Bucharest, it was highlighted that our priority at the moment should be identifying the most important challenges and problems and finding the right tools for solving these problems. For the first time it was stated that the project also aims to strengthen the position of the countries in the region. The main areas of cooperation are transport, infrastructure and energy.

The debate in Riga showed that the Three Seas Initiative has a huge potential but the main obstacle to it is a lack of infrastructural connections between the countries of this region. Of course, it changes slowly and the best examples are Via Carpathia and Via Baltica.

The Estonian discussion was focused on the aspects that are imprtant for Estonia. The most urgent need is to move the energy security of Estonia and other Baltic states away from Russia and towards the EU. In terms of transport access from Estonia to other EU states, it is quite limited and it should be improved.

During the conference in Rome the speakers compared this initiative with macroregions as Italy was the promotor of the idea of macroregions. However, there are some differences. The first one is that this is a continental project that goes to the European borders with Turkey and Russia. It’s a North-South initiative while most of the initiatives are East-West initiatives. This is a new vision and it has a high level of strategic mission. This initiative can also strengthen the cooperation in the Mediterranean.

The last presentation in Zagreb again focused on the main points of the Initiative. Investment is badly needed not only in transport routes but also energy and digitisation. Our geographical position brings unique opportunities, therefore we need to build the infrastructure and use it for economic and social development.

Partners of the project:

  • New Strategy Center (Romania),
  • Latvian Institute of International Affairs (Latvia),
  • International Center for Defence & Security (Estonia),
  • Eastwest (Italy),
  • iDEMO – Institue for Democracy (Croatia)