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Monday, 17 September 2018

Speech by the President during the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum

Distinguished Madam President,

Distinguished Mister President, our Host and Friend
Esteemed Presidents,
Distinguished Madam Commissioner,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All the People involved in politics and business,

I am glad to see that, three years after the launch of the Three Seas Initiative in New York, we have achieved such an advanced stage of cooperation today. We are taking part in the 3rd Summit of the Three Seas Initiative and in the first Three Seas Business Forum, which is especially important for us. These important events are the evidence of the ongoing development of our format of regional cooperation. We are not standing still, we are not limiting ourselves to talks, we are not constraining ourselves to political theory. Aware of the challenges facing our region, we continue to implement our ambitious policy of modernization. We want to be, and indeed we are, political practitioners, co-creators of a Central Europe which delivers and which is an important player globally. That is why we are enriching regional cooperation with new components and new implementation instruments.


Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends,


As the leaders of the countries which had been struggling with infrastructure backlogs over many years, we established the Three Seas Initiative. At the Dubrovnik Summit we were looking for new opportunities for business cooperation, expanding it to include, among others, the partnerships of chambers of commerce in our countries. We supplemented our activities with talks involving partners of global importance, including the United States of America. At the last year's Warsaw Summit, we hosted President Donald Trump, who strongly supported the idea of the Three Seas. We also took care of the lowest, local, bottom-up dimension of the Initiative. This is why in Rzeszów, Poland organized the Forum of Regions of the 3SI. These were important elements in the systematic strengthening of the Initiative. Now the time has come for our ambitious plans to be translated into real policies. We are in their execution phase. 


Ladies and Gentlemen,


The European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance were and continue to be the keystone of the Three Seas Initiative. The identity of the Three Seas Initiative is determined by our European and our transatlantic qualities. We are here today because we are part of the EU and NATO. We are responsible members of the Euro-Atlantic space. Therefore, I cannot imagine that the Three Seas Initiative could operate outside these borders, let alone, against these organizations and their values. 


However, this rule is combined with another important desire: we want to be a significant player. We would like Central Europe to be a developed, well integrated and secure part of the Euro-Atlantic world. In order to achieve this, we are focusing on deepening integration in the areas most important to economic development — transport, energy and digitalization. In Bucharest, we are expanding our existing cooperation in this area to include new components.

At the Summit and at the Business Forum we are hosting heads of the largest financial institutions in Europe and the world — the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Thus, we are also adding a financial ingredient to the regional, European and transatlantic components. The Summit will also be attended by the President of the European Commission and EU sectoral commissioners. In this way, we are showing that the relations between the Three Seas Initiative and the EU are based on the principles of symbiosis and synergy, rather than negative competition. This high-quality relations with the EU are our focal point. 


Ladies and Gentlemen,

After several months of consultations among the Three Seas twelve, we have come up with a list of priority projects of the Three Seas Initiative. It is a catalogue of key investments to ensure the success of our economies, societies and countries. This Three-Seas-map includes very well-known projects, such as the Via Carpatia road or the North-South gas corridor. However, it also introduces completely new ideas, such as the cutting-edge digital and transport solutions. In the years to come, all these investments will be the subject of cooperation of the Three Seas Initiative countries.

The Initiative should be backed up by its visible attributes. These include the capacity of the Three Seas Initiative to implement its priority projects. The capability not only to determine the topography of the Three Seas, but also the Initiative’s effective implementation. We will therefore equip the new cooperation components with new instruments.

During today's Business Forum we will witness the signing of two important documents - a Joint Declaration on the establishment of a network of chambers of commerce of the Three Seas Region and a Letter of Intent on the establishment of the Three Seas Initiative Fund. Thanks to these tools, in future we will be able to continue our cooperation with even greater efficiency than before. Above all, however, we will strengthen the process of modernization of Central Europe. We will do it in a bottom-up, targeted way, focusing on the particular stages of setting up individual investment projects. 


Ladies and Gentlemen,


As already mentioned, the topography of the Three Seas Region cannot be seen outside the borders of Europe and the transatlantic space. Having said that, I am all the more pleased that the US Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, has joined us here in Bucharest. Energy cooperation, diversification of energy supply sources, and the development of the liquefied natural gas market are areas of great importance to Poland and to the entire Three Seas region. Therefore,  cooperation with the United States is of crucial importance here. We were very happy to learn that for America, the Three Seas has become a strategic tool for building relations with Central Europe. This is proven not only by the already intensive and still growing activity of American businesses in the Three Seas area, but also by the interest and support of the US authorities for the Three Seas idea. I have seen this for myself on many occasions, during my numerous discussions with American investment funds and with the highest representatives of the United States administration. Let me assure you that I will also raise these topics during my official visit to the White House tomorrow.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank President Klaus Werner Iohannis for hosting the Summit and the Forum. Having been in your shoes last year we know well how much work that was for the organizers.
I wish you all fruitful meetings and discussions.

Thank you very much!

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