The Three Seas Initiative one of the central project of Polish government

26.07.2017 | By Marcin Kędzierski

Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw is a landmark event in the history of the Intermarium the very presence of almost all presidents of the region’s states at the Warsaw Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, one of the central International project of president Andrzej Duda.This initiative was mainly recognized by experts, and not even in all countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, the presence of almost all presidents of the region’s states at the Warsaw Summit of the Three Seas Initiative until recently were uncertain. The only question is whether Poland will be able to turn this undoubted success into real advantage both in regional and European terms.

The Three Seas Inititative (TSI) is a geopolitical project addressed to 12 Central and Eastern European countries, post-communist members of the EU (with the exception of Austria). Even the name refers to the interwar geopolitical conception of Intermarium, assuming the creation of an integration block through the Poland between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea with the very term “Three Seas”. From the very beginning, it was designed as a mainly infrastructural project. There were several reasons for such conception. First of all, The Chancellery of the President realized of significant differences in a position of relation the countries of the region to Russia.Secondly, the conception of Intermarium with the leading role of Poland are scare our regional partners,even think is enough to make they’s hair stand on end, a specially the Czech Republic and Lithuania. And finally, the main issue to the development of co-operation in Central Europe is the long-term barrier negligence of transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure. But what is most important, in this area almost all of Central Europe speaks in common voice.

Unfortunately, the attempts to build the North-South European corridors have failed to find real financial support in Brussels. As a result, the main goal of the “Three Seas” is to create appropriate conditions enabling equal opportunities, for the development of the countries that joined the EU after 2004. For this reason, as all participants in this Initiative emphasize, that “Three Seas” is not an anti-European project. It is supposed to strengthen the connection of this region with Western Europe, which will also benefit from the perspective of Berlin or Paris. Moreover, the TSI formula can be useful in dialogue with the World’s Superpower – the United States and China, although it must be good to remind that with the last one our region already have our own format of cooperation (16 + 1).

On paper everything looks so promising. How is it in practice? Differently. The first Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, which took place in the last days of August 2016 in Croatian Dubrovnik, was “improvisation” by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. The event, organized in a few weeks, in the middle of the holiday season, was mainly used for the campaign in the Croatian parliamentary elections, held two weeks later. Even at the time a declaration was signed, but the true inauguration of the Three Seas Initiative only now is possible to talk about it.

The NATO Summit in Warsaw was prepared monthes before, and Donald Trump’s presence helped bring leaders from all the countries of the region to the summit, which ran out last year. Moreover, thanks to the visit of the President of the United States on the Three Seas Initiative was heard by the whole World. We should not worry about criticism from Germany or France – even our potential not able to grow in one day, Trump’s arrival in Warsaw on the eve of the G20 Summit in Hamburg won’t weaken Poland’s negotiating position with Western European partners. Particularly, in spite of the deterioration in the transatlantic relationship in recent times , both Europe and the US, mainly for economic reasons, can not afford divorce for a long time, and in this regard we should be able to use Trump’s visit in Warsaw.

It is important to note that despite on relatively small issues undoubted success was achieved. For the implementation of the whole project is responsible just a several persons of the cabinet of Foreign Office in the President’s Chancellery, which is a huge recognition of the word. On the other hand, the summit in Warsaw, which can be called “Three Seas’s wedding, will end, and after that will come the routine of everyday life. A routine that needs to be filled up with content, which for obvious reasons will not be done by mentioned group of people. First of all, it is necessary to involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Development, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Maritime and Inland Navigation.More, the idea of the “Three Seas should become a keynote of the whole Polish government. Anyway, this should be a keynote for at least a few months, because this projects should move from next Monday. Unfortunately, it is already known that this will not able to happened. It is true that in recent months certain actions have been taken, which may be symbolized by the project of Via Carpathia, but it does not change the fact that the Polish administration in the The Three Seas Inititative section is not prepared to take over the stick President Duda’s baton. In conclusion, if an initiative that looks good on paper is to bring the expected results, it must quickly become one of the real, not just the declared priorities of the Polish government.

Should added that the next “Three Seas” summit used to be in one of the Black Sea states (Romania or Bulgaria), but it is failure to determine where the next summit will take place, for now, this will cover the splendor associated with the presence of President Trump, but there is nothing what can cover the next failures.

Author: Marcin Kędzierski – head of Jagiellonian Club Analysis Center, expert on education, Ph.D. in economics

International_Visegrad_Fund,_emblemo_bluaThis text was created thanks to support of International Visegrad Found.