The ministerial session “Three Seas: Central Europe’s Security in a World of Greater Complexity”, with speakers from Croatia, Latvia and Poland, was aimed at discussing major challenges facing the Three Seas Initiative today, particularly in relation to its institutionalization, relationship with European integration and cooperation with external players. The session took place on October 2nd, 2019 in Warsaw.

The participating panelists were: Mr. Jacek Czaputowicz – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland; Ms. Vesna Pusić – Member of the Croatian Parliament, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia (2011-2016), First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia (2012 – 2016); Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. The panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Corrina Hörst, President of Women in International Security, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Minister Czaputowicz talked about the institutionalization of the Initiative and of the synergy and cooperation that would stem from financing projects of a different yet complementary nature, notably in transport, energy security and infrastructure. He said Poland views the Initiative as “an instrument to help to catch up with Western Europe”. Minister Pusić reviewed the reasons behind the creation of the Initiative. She also pointed out that it was initially perceived as being in competition with European integration. Minister Rinkēvičs emphasized that the Three Seas Initiative needs to work towards greater integration with the European Union in order to attract the interest of the United States and to continue to complement the EU. He also highlighted the necessity of enhancing cooperation by broadening the thematic areas covered by the Initiative to include digitalization, IT or 5G. He further underlined the importance of economic cooperation with both China and the United States. Minister Czaputowicz described the development of cooperation with the United States as resulting from a “common threat perception”. Minister Pusić insisted that the Initiative’s member states should not have to be dependent on a “big player”, such as China, Russia or the United States.