The Untapped Potential of Three Seas Initiative

The Untapped Potential of Three Seas Initiative is the online panel organized on 26 April 2023 by the Warsaw Institute. The Panelists were Matej Hittner, the President of the Centre for Economic Analysis and Public Policy (CEA) and Paweł Pawłowski, Chairman of the Foundation Council of Warsaw Institute. The Panel was moderated by Liliana Śmiech, Vice President of Warsaw Institute.

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Matej Hittner emphasized CEA’s positions regarding the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) focused on the need to design and implement the following policies:

  • the importance of investing in infrastructure, with strong ports and rail connections, to achieve a robust logistical vertical connection,
  • the significance of LNG terminals in the region and Croatia’s decision to double its current LNG capacities (from 2.9 to 6.1 bcm) to become energy security guarantor for Central European countries,
  • the importance of increasing defense cooperation and budgetary spending on military – even up to 5% of GDP (in comparison to the existing NATO target 2%),
  • paramount importance of projects that prioritize joint procurement, development, training and interoperability,
  • adjusting infrastructure to increase military mobility,
  • unyielding support for the Ukrainian defense forces,
  • establishing a close intelligence cooperation – under the model of Five eyes intelligence system of the Anglo-Saxon countries.

Hittner added that the Three Seas Initiative has been supported by the center-right government led by Andrej Plenković, as well as by the former President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, who was one of the initiators of this Initiative.

Hittner concluded that the Three Seas countries are the frontier of Europe, and it is of utmost importance that they are well equipped to defend their borders.

In April 2023 Warsaw Institute from Poland and Centre for Economic Analysis and Public Policy from Croatia established a Three Seas Partnership to encourage cooperation in the region and shape public discussion about the 3SI.