President advocates for Three Seas Initiative's growth
The Three Seas Initiative of regional cooperation is very important and should be developed for the benefit of the societies in the region and the whole EU, President Andrzej Duda said in Brdo near Slovenia's capital Ljubljana.
The Three Seas Initiative, a joint project of the Polish and Croatian presidents, is a platform for cooperation of the presidents of twelve countries situated between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. Its aim is to boost cooperation in the region in such areas as infrastructure, energy, transport and digitisation.
At a press conference following a meeting of the Three Seas country leaders, President Duda said that the two-day summit had shown that cooperation within the initiative "has significantly developed."
The initiative was created when Central European countries, which were once placed behind the Iron Curtain, which had obstructed their development, decided to unite within the EU and jointly seek additional development opportunities, said the president.
A key aim of the initiative was to coordinate infrastructural efforts "so that we can coherently create connections along the north-south axis," Andrzej Duda said.
"We want to catch up with Western Europe in terms of infrastructure and at the same time create better opportunities for communication, transport and development, including economic development, for businesses and tourists (...) and also for strengthening energy security," the president said.
"We want to continue along this road, we want to continue to develop our countries for the benefit of our societies, but (...) also for the benefit of the whole EU and those who come to the EU. First of all (we want to) to create better prospects for economic growth, better business and tourist prospects in Europe's north-south area, and to ensure security and prosperity for our societies," the president said.
Andrzej Duda also stressed that the Three Seas member countries welcomed the presence at the summit of US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "It is a very important support for us, for the Three Seas, for this part of the EU," Andrzej Duda said.
The Three Seas Initiative brings together Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The region constitutes nearly one-third of the EU's total area and has more than 112 million inhabitants. (PAP)