The next summit of the Three Seas attracted so much attention, because this time there will be a serious conversation about money for Central and Eastern Europe. Will there be a declaration of co-financing from the USA? Will the Americans introduce sanctions against Nord Stream 2? – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
Three Seas Fund
The summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is taking place on 17 and 18 September. The head of the office of the President of the Republic of Poland, Krzysztof Szczerski, announced the creation of the Three Seas fund and a list of joint priority projects of the Initiative.
The Polish Press Agency states that during the Three Seas Business Forum, two documents will be signed: a declaration on the establishment of a network of chambers of commerce, the Three Seas Business Council, and a letter of intent regarding the creation of the Three Seas Fund. The cooperation is to take place in three areas: transport, energy and digitalisation.
Competition for the European Union?
After Bucharest, the Polish President will go to Washington to represent the Three Seas countries in talks on business cooperation. According to BiznesAlert.pl information, US diplomacy is to make a significant declaration on co-financing regional projects at the summit of the Three Seas. Perhaps it was the engagement of the Americans that made Germany apply for membership in the initiative.
The Germans intend to ensure that the Three Seas will not threaten the position of the European Commission in the past flooding Central and Eastern Europe with funds. It is worth recalling that there is already a list of priority projects in Europe, for example the LNG terminal in Świnoujście or the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline. The Americans can declare financial support for the development of the infrastructure with the use of the Three Seas fund. In Bucharest, energy secretary Rick Perry will be present. It will turn out who gives more.
– We can not forget that it will be impossible to succeed in the plans of the Three Seas without the EU and the United States. On the other hand, we know that the success of the Initiative will also bring tangible benefits to the Union, the USA and the entire Euro-Atlantic space. For this reason, we are very pleased with the fact of such a large group of EU and US representatives in Bucharest – said Krzysztof Szczerski quoted by PAP.
The Three Seas Initiative, depending on the development of the situation, may act reintegrating or disintegrating into the European Union. It can stop the process of creating a Europe of many speeds, or strengthen the regionalization of European policy. The US business engagement may bind the country more tightly with the region of Central and Eastern Europe despite problems in transatlantic relations, similar to the initiative of the Eastern Flank of NATO. Americans can declare financial support for the Three Seas fund and specific projects of common interest.
Not against Europe
The possible anti-European initiatives of Donald Trump’s administration should not be exceeded for Poles. The Three Seas cooperation should not aim to create a “conservative alternative” for Europe, which I wrote about in BiznesAlert.pl. Optimists expect that in Bucharest, US sanctions will be announced against participants in the contested Nord Stream 2 project. Although in my opinion this is unlikely, if the price for this declaration would be Poland’s involvement in initiatives breaking European integration, it would be too high.