Intermarium summit this year opens to surprise as Polish President Andrzej Duda will attend the 5th Summit of the Three Seas Initiative (also known as Babs initiative) in Tallinn. This year, the meeting of the 12 Member States of the Three Seas Initiative will be chaired by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Due to the COVID crisis, the summit will partly take place remotely; the US Secretary of State and the German President, among others, will participate via Internet connections. Apart from the Polish President, only the Bulgarian President Rumen Radew will come to the Estonian capital, as Bulgaria will take the lead in the discussions this year. Furthermore, Bulgaria will also host the next Summit of the Three Seas next year. However, usually only the president of the hosting countries partage in the process, the participation of Duda clearly giving clues on the future of the project.
Krzysztof Szczerski, the Head of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland has informed us that representatives of strategic partners, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as senior US representatives will also take part in the meeting remotely. In addition, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, has announced her participation in the talks on behalf of European Union institutions.
Krzysztof Szczerski stressed the importance of the fact that the meeting of the leaders of the countries of the Initiative will take place in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. As he pointed out, especially today, the talks of the leaders of the Three Seas are particularly important in the context of three current external conditions which may determine the future of the region. As he pointed out, these conditions are: the COVID19 and its socio-economic consequences, the decisions concerning the future financial framework of the European Union and the electoral settlement in the United States. Szczerski emphasised that ‘the countries of the Three seas should respond to those issues in a coherent manner, focusing on Euro-Atlantic unity’.
Szczerski also emphasised that Monday’s summit will be an opportunity to summarise the achievements of the Initiative to date, of which the most important are: the establishment and development of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund and the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum, the creation of a stock exchange index – CEEplus, the development of a list of priority projects and the establishment of the Three Cities Business Council.
According to Szczerski, a joint declaration is to be signed at the end of the meeting, in which the leaders of the countries of the Three Seas will stress how the initiative can play a key role in recovering from the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Head of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland has indicated that the countries of the Three Seas Initiative ‘have a chance to become an important recipient of investment funds under the new European Union budget for 2021-2027’. Szczerski stressed that ‘both national, European and commercial investors’ funds through the Fund will be necessary in the process of creating new supply chains.
In the margins of the summit, President Duda will meet both the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, and the Prime Minister, Juri Ratas. “In addition to economic issues and bilateral political relations, the leaders intend to raise issues related to the security situation in the region, especially taking into account Belarussian situation”. – said Szczerski.
Andrzej Duda will also take part in the inauguration of the first Polish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce.
The President will return to Warsaw today on the evening. During the Tallinn summit, he will be accompanied by Krzysztof Szczerski, who is the presidential representative for the Three Seas Initiative.