Organization:Three Seas Initiative

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Short description: International political forum of Middle-European states
Three Seas Initiative

Map of Europe indicating the twelve member states of the Three Seas Initiative
Map of Europe indicating the twelve member states of the Three Seas Initiative
• Total
1,218,975 km2 (470,649 sq mi)
• Estimate
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$2.1 trillion[1]
• Per capita

The Three Seas Initiative (3SI or TSI), known also as the Baltic, Adriatic, Black Sea (BABS) Initiative or simply as the Three Seas (Latin: Trimarium, Polish: Trójmorze), is a forum of twelve states, in the European Union, running along a north–south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic and Black Seas in Central and Eastern Europe.[2] The Initiative aims to create a regional dialogue on questions affecting the member states.

In 2016, representatives of those states (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland , Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) met for their first summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia. At the seventh summit in Riga on June 20, 2022, Ukraine received the status of a partner-participant of the ITM, de facto becoming a participant in this initiative.[3]


The twelve Three Seas countries cover 29 per cent of the European Union’s territory (1,210,000 km²), are home to 25 percent of the European Union's inhabitants (112 million), and produce 19 per cent of the EU's GDP (based on purchasing power parity).[4]


The Three Seas Initiative, which was influenced by the Polish interwar Intermarium concept, was launched in 2015 by Polish President Andrzej Duda and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.[4]

First summit, Dubrovnik, 2016

The Initiative's first summit, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on 25–26 August 2016, ended with a declaration of economic cooperation in energy and in transport and communications infrastructures.[2] Polish President Andrzej Duda called the initiative "a new concept to promote Europe's unity and cohesion... an idea of cooperation among 12 countries located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas, the three seas of Central Europe."[5]

Guests included Chinese Ministerial Assistant for Foreign Affairs Liu Haixing, who spoke about Three Seas Initiative interconnectedness with China's Belt and Road Initiative, and former US National Security Advisor General James L. Jones, who stressed the Three Seas Initiative's role in European development and security.[6][7]

Second summit, Warsaw, 2017

The Initiative's second summit was held 6–7 July 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. Guest attendees included US President Donald Trump.[8][9] The participating countries unanimously agreed to set up a Three Seas Business Forum.[10][11]

Third summit, Bucharest, 2018

The Initiative's third summit took place 17–18 September 2018 in Bucharest, Romania. Participants approved interconnection projects in three key areas: transport, energy, and digital.[12] Guest attendees included President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. The first edition[clarification needed] of the Business Forum was organised. A 3SI Network of Chambers of Commerce was created, and a letter of intent was signed concerning establishment of a Three Seas Investment Fund.[13][14]

List of summits

Date Location Hosting leader Notes
1 2016
25–26 August
Croatia Dubrovnik, Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović [15][16]
2 2017
6–7 July
Poland Warsaw, Poland Andrzej Duda U.S. President Donald Trump attended.[17]
3 2018
17–18 September
Romania Bucharest, Romania Klaus Iohannis E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry attended.[18]
4 2019
5–6 June
Slovenia Ljubljana, Slovenia Borut Pahor E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry attended.[19][20]
5 2020
19 October[21]
Estonia Tallinn, Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid Virtual summit[22][23]
6 2021
8–9 July[21]
Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria Rumen Radev Greek president Katerina Sakellaropoulou attended.[24]
7 2022
20–21 July[21]
Latvia Riga, Latvia Egils Levits
8 2023 Romania Bucharest, Romania


Donald Trump's visit to Poland, July 2017
2018 Three Seas summit in Bucharest

The initiative is closely related to two major infrastructure projects in the region:[25]

  • A north–south highway "Via Carpathia", connecting Klaipėda in Lithuania with Thessaloniki in Greece
  • Liquefied natural gas infrastructure, with sea terminals in Poland and Croatia and a connecting pipeline

Other projects are the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor, Via Baltica road, Rail Baltica and Amber Rail Freight Corridor[26] rail connections.[27] Another project is Rail-2-Sea, which aims to connect the Baltic Sea port of Gdańsk (Poland) with the Black Sea port of Constanța (Romania) through a 3,663 kilometres (2,276 miles) long railway line.[28][29]

Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund (3SIIF)

The initial two founding institutions from Poland and Romania have committed themselves to make payments totaling more than 500 million euros.[30] The Fund is open to other Three Seas countries, which may join it after obtaining appropriate permits. The Supervisory Board of the Fund consists of representatives of development banks from Poland, Romania, Latvia, and the Czech Republic.[31][32]

In 2019, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and Export–Import Bank of Romania[33] signed the founding act of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund.[34] The fund is to focus on projects creating transport, energy and digital infrastructure in the Three Seas region. Private investors from pension funds, private investment funds, and other entities will also be invited to the fund. The aim is to raise up to €3–5 billion.[30]

The fund will engage, on a commercial basis, in infrastructure projects with a total value of up to €100 billion,[35][36] while the needs of the Three Seas region have been estimated at over €570 billion.[37]

Prior to the 2020 Tallinn Summit, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged up to a billion dollars in financing for the Investment Fund.[38]



Social-democratic Croatian President Zoran Milanović stated that the initiative is harmful for Croatia.[39]

Czech Republic

The Three Seas Initiative was at the beginning perceived by local experts and diplomats in the Czech Republic rather negatively. It was seen as a Polish attempt to create its sphere of influence (similar to the historical perception of Intermarium). Further fears were related to a possibility of deepening the East-West division in the EU and exclusion of Germany . A long term Czech objection is that there should be no competing geopolitical project in the region that would weaken the EU. Some of those objections have been partially addressed lately also due to a good experience with cooperation on infrastructure projects in the Visegrad group.[40]Template:Check source


The populist Finns Party has advocated for Finland to join the initiative.[41]


In August 2019, during the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Poland , he stated that Ukraine is interested in becoming an active participant in regional projects and initiatives in Poland, such as the Three Seas, which covers the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas. It was also noted that Ukraine is already cooperating in the construction of the trans-European Via Carpatia highway, and is discussing an ambitious E-40 waterway project for Ukraine."[42]

In October 2019, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Chaputowicz said that Ukraine could not now join the Three Seas Initiative, as it includes the countries of Central and Southern Europe, which are members of the European Union. The head of Polish diplomacy explained that the Three Seas Initiative should not be associated with geopolitics, as it is only an infrastructure project.[43]

In November 2019, during the visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Estonia, he stated that Ukraine is interested in joining the ITM and intends to discuss this issue with Estonian partners.[44]

After the start of the 2022 Russian invasion during the Russian-Ukrainian War, President of Poland Andrzej Duda in his address to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on May 22, 2022 stated that Ukraine should join the Three Seas Initiative.[45] Later, on June 7, 2022, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, at the opening of a two-day congress of local self-government in the Three Seas in Lublin, stated that the Three Seas Initiative is impossible without involving a free and sovereign Ukraine .[46]

At the seventh summit in Riga on June 20, 2022, speaking on video, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine should become a member of the Three Seas Initiative. Zelenskyy suggested strengthening the interpretation of cooperation within the Three Seas, emphasizing the importance of logistics. Speaking about cooperation in the energy sector, Zelenskyy reminded that Ukraine has one of the largest gas storage facilities in the region.[47] At this summit Ukraine received the status of a partner-participant of the ITM, de facto becoming a participant in this initiative.[3]

See also


  1. "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects".,122,918,964,960,935,968,939,936,961,944,941&s=NGDPD&grp=0&a=. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Dubrovnik Forum adopts declaration called "The Three Seas Initiative"" (in en). EBL News. 2016-08-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Ukraine has received the status of a partner in the Three Seas Initiative" (in uk). 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Archived copy". 
  5. "President of the Republic of Poland / News / Minister Szczerski: Three Seas initiative to boost European unity" (in en). 4 May 2017.,425,minister-szczerski-three-seas-initiative-to-boost-european-unity--.html. 
  6. "The Three Seas Initiative: Central and Eastern Europe takes charge of its own destiny | Visegrád Post" (in en-GB). 28 August 2016. 
  7. Ansley, Rachel. "Making the Three Seas Initiative a Priority for Trump" (in en-gb). Atlantic Council. 
  8. "Trump trip to Poland forces 3 Seas summit change" (in en-US). Fox News. 2017-06-13. 
  9. CNBC (2017-07-04). "FACTBOX-Three Seas Initiative summit in Warsaw". 
  10. "President Rumen Radev in Warsaw: the Joint Projects and Investments of the Central and Eastern European Countries will Make the European Union Stronger". Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  11. "2018 Summit – Three Seas Initiative". Retrieved 2018-09-06. 
  12. "The Three Seas Initiative-Priority Interconnection Projects". 
  13. "Press releases". Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  14. "Croatian President at Third Three Seas Initiative Summit" (in en). 19 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  15. "Dubrovnik Forum adopts declaration called "The Three Seas Initiative"" (in en). 2016-08-25. 
  16. "The Three Seas Initiative: Central and Eastern Europe takes charge of its own destiny" (in en-GB). 2016-08-28. 
  17. "Read Donald Trump's Remarks at the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Poland" (in en). Time. Retrieved 2019-11-04. 
  18. "Three Seas summit in Bucharest seeks backing from Western Europe | DW | 17.09.2018" (in en-GB). 
  19. "Pobuda Tri morja" (in sl), Wikipedija, prosta enciklopedija, 2019-06-05,, retrieved 2019-06-05 
  20. "Czech and Croatian Presidents Advocate Stronger Central Europe" (in en-gb). Retrieved 12 April 2019. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 "Three Seas Summit and Business Forum". 
  22. "Foreign Minister Reinsalu: we are ready to host the Three Seas Initiative summit in Estonia | Ministry of Foreign Affairs" (in en). 
  23. "2020 Three Seas Virtual Summit, Tallinn, Estonia" (in en). 
  24. "2021 Summit and Business Forum". 
  25. "Poland hopes to tap Trump's business acumen at regional summit" (in en). Business Insider. 
  26. "Amber Rail Freight Corridor". 
  27. "From Warsaw to Bucharest - The Way Forward for the Three Seas Initiative". 
  28. Mutler, Alison (12 October 2020). "Rail-2-Sea and Via Carpathia, the US-backed highway and rail links from the Baltic to the Black Sea". 
  29. Lewkowicz, Łukasz (2020). "The Three Seas Initiative as a new model of regional cooperation in Central Europe: A Polish perspective". UNISCI Journal 18 (54): 177–194. doi:10.31439/UNISCI-101. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 "Three Seas Initiative Summit urges EU to consider its goals". 
  31. "Three Seas Initiative Gets Investment Fund" (in en-gb). 
  32. "The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund officially established" (in pl). 
  33. "Iohannis at the summit of the Three Seas Initiative :The US economic presence in the region is a true catalyst for co-operation". 
  34. "Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund established | Central Europe Energy Partners". 
  35. Editorial Staff (2018-08-21). "Polish Briefing: The Three Seas Fund will finance energy investments" (in en-US). 
  36. Patricolo, Claudia (2019-06-11). "Polish and Romanian banks establish Three Seas investment fund". 
  37. "New fund to supplement EU infrastructure project financing | News". 2019-06-12. 
  38. "US commits $1 billion dollars to develop Central European infrastructure". February 15, 2020. 
  39. "Milanović protiv Inicijative triju mora: Nepotrebno i potencijalno štetno zbog mogućeg zamjeranja Berlinu i Moskvi". 19 October 2020. 
  40. "Poláci odhalili projekt Trojmoří. Propojení Pobaltí s jihovýchodem EU přitahuje americké miliardy" (in cs-CS). 2020-10-06. 
  41. "Finland to join the Three Seas Initiative (3SI)". 10 December 2019. 
  42. "Zelenskyi in Poland: in addition to history – sanctions, borders, energy, transport plus the Three Seas" (in uk). 2019-08-31. 
  43. "Poland has explained why Ukraine cannot join the Three Seas yet" (in uk). 
  44. "Ukraine is interested in joining the Three Seas Initiative - Zelenskyi" (in uk). 
  45. ""Russia has destroyed Ukraine, Russia must pay for it"" (in uk). Retrieved 2022-06-20. 
  46. "The Three Seas are impossible without a free and sovereign Ukraine - Mateusz Morawiecki" (in uk). Retrieved 2022-06-20. 
  47. "Zelenskyi supported Ukraine's accession to the Three Seas" (in uk). Retrieved 2022-06-20. 

External links