Three Seas Initiative Summit Concludes with Resounding Commitments and Strong Support for Ukraine

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: September 20, 2023; 23:07 ♦ (Vindobona)

During the 8th edition of the Three Seas Initiative Summit, the prestigious halls of the Cotroceni Palace welcomed Central and Eastern European leaders. This gathering was a demonstration of unity and determination against a backdrop of increasing geopolitical tension. On this same occasion, the President of Austria stressed support for Ukraine and the common fight against global warming.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen joined other heads of state at the summit of the Three Seas Initiative in the Romanian capital Bucharest. / Picture: © / Carina Karlovits/HBF

The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, playing host for the second time since 2018, was a prominent figure at the summit. Romania has emerged as a crucial player in the Initiative,

The summit, hosted by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis for the second time since 2018, featured Romania as a key participant in the Initiative. The country has emphasized its role in enhancing European strategic connectivity, with a particular focus on transport, energy, and digital infrastructure along the North-South axis.

Cybersecurity was introduced as a new agenda item, initiated by Romania. Given the vulnerabilities associated with the digital era, the necessity for strong cyberinfrastructure and defense mechanisms was acknowledged by the attending leaders.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen articulated Austria's support for Ukraine, particularly in light of Russia's actions. This comes a year after Ukraine was invited to join the Initiative as an associated partner state, a move that has been interpreted as a display of solidarity. Van der Bellen also emphasized the importance of addressing climate change, citing recent extreme weather events in Styria and Slovenia as a call for sustainable, resilient infrastructure.

Greece as new participant

The summit included new participants as well. Greece joined as the 13th member state, while the Republic of Moldova gained the status of an associated participating state. Both were represented by their presidents, Katerina Sakellaropolou and Maia Sandu respectively, who expressed their commitment to the Initiative's goals.

An Innovation Fund focusing on advanced technologies received endorsement from the leaders. This comes in addition to existing Initiative investment funds, which currently support projects totaling approximately 6 billion euros.

New ideas for the future

President Iohannis also announced that Romania would host another edition of the Initiative's Business Forum, an event that has served as a platform for dialogue between policymakers and the business community since its inception in 2018.

However, the summit also included discussions of potential security concerns. Specifically, President Iohannis mentioned the recent discovery of drone components in Romania and emphasized the importance of transparent communication, particularly with NATO allies.

In conclusion, Romania reiterated its support for Ukraine, noting its ongoing grain exports as an example of this commitment. As the summit came to a close, the collective message from the participants was one of unity and readiness to address various challenges, both regional and global.

Romanian President

Federal Chancellery of Austria