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Political leaders from Europe and USA will discuss smart growth in Central and Eastern Europe on Monday

13.10.2020

A week from now Estonia will host the Three Seas Virtual Summit, at which several heads of state of Central and Eastern Europe, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and business leaders will discuss the future of Central and Eastern Europe. The summit focuses on new investments and the smart connectivity concept to ensure that the Three Seas region continues to drive the economic growth in Europe.

According to President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid the summit can give new impetus for the development of transport and energy sector infrastructure in the Three Seas region. “West-Europe is connected with a tight infrastructure network, but the years spent behind the iron curtain have left their mark on the infrastructure connections of our area. On the other hand this region has had excellent economic growth and creating better infrastructure connections between the three seas countries has great economic potential,” President Kaljulaid said.

The Three Seas Virtual Summit has two parts: a high-level summit of 12 Central and Eastern European countries, joined also by the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. The heads of state of Estonia, Poland, Romania, Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Lithuania will also participate in the working session.

The live-broadcast part of the summit will focus on the funding of energy, transport and digital infrastructure in the Three Seas region and the digitalisation of the energy and transport sectors. The United States Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and a range of other ministers and business figures will speak at the event. The summit will open with a debate between leading politicians about the future of the Three Seas initiative and region, moderated by Gideon Rachman, the Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator with the Financial Times. This will be followed by presentations and discussions on the financing of international infrastructure projects, while the latter part of the day will focus on smart connectivity, proposing means for the digitalisation of energy and transport sector infrastructure so as to promote innovation and the more effective use of infrastructure. As a digital nation, Estonia will showcase its Smart Connectivity vision for the region, which is expected to develop into a standard for planning smart cross-border infrastructure. Expert opinions will be given by representatives of Google and McKinsey.

The Three Seas initiative brings together 12 EU Member States between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Its key partners are Germany, the European Union and the United States.

The Three Seas aims to promote cooperation first and foremost for the development of infrastructure in the energy, transport and digital sectors, but also to foster economic growth, to boost the well-being of the region’s population and Europe’s competitiveness, to ensure energy security and an energy market based on open competition and to achieve climate goals via smart investment.

Further information about the initiative can be found online at www.3seas.eu