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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Remarks by the President at the Transatlantic Session of the 2nd Summit of the Three Seas Initiative

The Transatlantic Session of the 2nd Summit of the Three Seas Initiative

Presidents,
State Representatives,
Welcome to the Royal Castle in Warsaw,
Welcome to Poland,
Welcome to the Three Seas Summit
Let me welcome all of you: our Guests.


Distinguished Presidents,
Distinguished Representatives of the Three Seas Initiative States,

 

Let me welcome to you as President of the Republic of Poland and co-host of the Three Seas Initiative Summit, co-hosting it together with Mrs Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the President of Croatia which will chair and moderate our proceedings in the first Transatlantic session.

 

In this connection, I would like to accord a very warm welcome to our special guest, Mr Donald Trump, the President of the United States. Mr President, thank you for your presence here among us, thank you for your personal attendance of this meeting. Thank you very much indeed, I do hope you will find this meeting interesting, fruitful and highly beneficial. Thank you once again.

 

********

 

Distinguished Presidents, I wish to thank Mr President for extending such prospects of cooperation. Thank you, I am really happy that you appreciate the importance of the region where the Three Seas Initiative was born and where it unfolds. In practical terms, it represents one-third of the European Union, the twelve countries of Central Europe represent together 112 million citizens who live there; they represent the cumulated GDP of 1,5 trillion dollars, and measured by purchasing power parity this cumulative GDP stands in fact at 3 trillion US dollars.

 

The unemployment rate is low, it continues below the European average, slightly below 7 percent.  The region offers vast development prospects: predominantly, this part of the European Union was in the past left behind the Iron Curtain. Looking at the achievements made by Western Europe, i.e. by the Old European Union, as we sometimes put it, in terms of their road, rail, Energy and telecom infrastructure, this region continues to be an underinvested region. It continues to be a region where much remains to be done, thus, the potential to be tapped is immense.

 

Mr President, you spoke about gas supplies: we want to create a North-South gas corridor, a corridor linking the terminal in Swinoujscie with the intended gas terminal on the isle of Krk in Croatia. And through this system, we also wish to provide energy security to all countries of our region. We would never like to see a situation where someone would make use of a gas blackmail either towards us or to any country in our part of Europe. Even more so given the total gas imports to our countries exceeds 40 million m3 annually, and, according to some experts, by the year 2030, the demand for gas in our countries will have grown by as much as 14 percent. The same experts predict that in Western Europe it is likely to decrease, falling even by 4 percent. So, it is ourselves who are the prospective part of the European market, where most likely demand for gas in the nearest years will be the greatest.

 

This is why I am extremely happy to visit the subject today. Indeed, the United State with its capacity to export 180 million m3 gas, stands as a truly prospective supplier. I do believe that such contracts, adding to the diversification of supply sources in our part of Europe, will help to build energy security, I do hope they will be feasible.

 

I am very pleased about it and I want us to clearly state that our cooperation is meant to send three impulses to Europe: the modernisation impulse, the integration and the unification one.

 

Modernization is what we urgently need. In our part of Europe, we need to modernize our industries, we need to make our economies more modern. In terms of integration, we need connectivity, especially along the North-South axis; the transportation network which is currently missing: road rail connections, energy connections that I have mentioned, telecom, all of that we need to expand.

 

In terms of unification, not only do we want to strengthen the bonds in our part of Europe but also, ultimately, to tighten the links between our part and the other part of European Union: so that the European Union could be even stronger, better developed and economically more competitive vis-à-vis the outside world, thanks to our cooperation and our endeavours.

 

I think that this is the main thrust that we should focus on, and as Heads of States in the Three Seas region, we should foster cooperation: economic and political one.

 

I do hope that the effort will engage our governments, and also local governments in our countries, but first and for most, that it will engage business community, that these grand projects will be implemented. To shed light on the perspective available, let me only mention that our Croatian friends are in possession of a study, according to which in our part of Europe, 157 grand infrastructure projects can be carried out, each of them very promising. Suffice it to say: 157 grand infrastructure projects. Madam President, let me hand it over to you to further chair the meeting.

 

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