RIGA - The Three Seas Initiative evidences the shared political, economic and civic ambitions of twelve European Union (EU) member states, Latvian Ambassador to Austria Guna Japina believes.
As LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry, Vienna on Tuesday hosted a panel discussion, “The Three Seas Initiative. An Instrument for Strengthening Cooperation in the Region”, organized by the Embassies of Latvia, Poland, and Romania.
At the event, diplomats and experts from the US, Austria, Latvia, UK, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the European Commission discussed the Three Seas Initiative from the European Union’s and global perspective and exchanged views on the economic aspects and benefits of the initiative.
At the event, Latvia was represented by the Ambassador of Latvia to Austria, Guna Japina; the Head of the President’s Chancery, Andris Teikmanis; the Ambassador-at-Large for the Preparation of the Three Seas Initiative Summit, Edgars Bondars; and the President of the “European Movement – Latvia” association, member of the European Economic and Social Committee, Andris Gobins.
The Three Seas Initiative evidences the shared political, economic and civic ambition of twelve EU member states, Ambassador Japina underlined in her opening address for the panel discussion. The Three Seas Initiative is a politically inspired, economically driven forum, because its member states constitute the fastest-growing European region in economic terms.
The Three Seas Initiative Summit and Business Forum to be held on 20-21 June in Riga along with as the Civil Society Forum and the Parliamentary Forum that will take place for the first time as part of the initiative demonstrate its diversity and potential, the Latvian diplomat said.
Referring to the initiative in the EU context, the Head of the President’s Chancery, Andris Teikmanis, underlined that Latvia as the host country of the summit expected high-level representation from all members of the Three Seas Initiative and called for the strengthening of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund by attracting private partners.
The Ambassador-at-Large for the Preparation of the Three Seas Initiative Summit, Edgars Bondars, highlighted the global significance of this regional initiative, especially in relation to current security threats in Europe. He underlined in particular that the Three Seas Initiative was a good platform for the renewal of Ukraine gravely affected by war and pointed out that Latvia was open to Ukraine’s participation in the Three Seas Initiative Summit.
At the end of the event, the participants reached a conclusion that the Three Seas region had not been given the attention it deserved, although its area comprised almost a half of EU member states. The geopolitical role of the development of infrastructure, transport, digitalization, connectivity and the energy sector in the region has rapidly increased; therefore, the opportunities offered by the Three Seas Initiative should be promoted and widely used to reinforce the region’s connectivity along its north-south axis.
The event brought together close to 80 participants from the public, non-governmental and private sectors representing Austria and other Three Seas Initiative countries. The discussion was organized in association with the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.