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President Kaljulaid: Democratic countries must control their critical connections and infrastructure

09.07.2021

“The big fight of this century is who controls critical connections and infrastructure. We must join our forces here to ensure this is done by democratic countries,” said the President at the Three Seas Summit held in Sofia today.

The Three Seas Initiative, which was launched six years ago, is a practical format of cooperation with a great potential to give a push to the recovery of the post-pandemic economy and strengthen its competitiveness. The Three Seas region has enormous potential in boosting the economic growth of Europe. Including Estonia, the region has 110 million people and the goal is to develop smart connections primarily in the areas of energy and transport, and in the digital sector. “We must make ourselves stronger with the green revolution. And in order to become green, we must make sure that the green bubble of the EU is airtight. This is not the case yet, because we don’t have any restrictions in place that would keep black energy away from our market. Energy production in Estonia has also become passively climate neutral, but we know that we’re not using green energy for this,” added the President of the Republic.

According to President Kaljulaid, the Three Seas Initiative can be a centre of excellence for smart solutions that would also propel growth in the West, as we have less of the old, restrictive infrastructure that would hinder the construction of a new one: “If we work together, we can also support democracies in Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans so that they can be a part of a democratic and connected world.”

President Kaljulaid also talked about the political bottlenecks in supply chains. “The pandemic showed us that we can lose everything when the markets are closed. Instead, we must figure out how to keep them open safely – we need a smart, permissive legal space in the interests of competitiveness,” emphasised President Kaljulaid.

These topics were also discussed at meetings with Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

The Tallinn Digital Summit that will be held in Tallinn in autumn is also dedicated to the Three Seas initiative and will bring 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.

Photos: Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia and Ilmars Znotins/Office of the President of the Republic of Latvia

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