Will the Three Seas Initiative cause new rifts?
Donald Trump was the guest of honour at yesterday's Three Seas Summit. The alliance consists of twelve Central and Eastern European countries bordering on the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Black Sea that plan to intensify economic cooperation with each other. Media in the countries of the region take different views of the initiative.
A new edition of an old project
Gândul explains the beginnings of the initiative and its goal:
“Polish President Andrzej Duda's idea is a new edition of Marschall Józef Piłsudski's strategic interwar project, this time with an economic focus. Pilsudki wanted to bring Poland and Lithuania together to ward off Russia's and Germany's expansionist tendencies. In comparison to the old Intermarium project the Three Seas Initiative is essentially a collaboration between the Central and Eastern European countries in the areas of transport and energy. Most analysts see it as a kind of expanded Visegrád Group. And it also includes Romania and Ukraine as well as three countries that border on the Baltic, Finland, Sweden and Norway. … Most EU heads of state, however, view the initiative as an attempt to divide the EU.”
This could get really expensive
The Three Seas Initiative which was founded last year in Croatia could end up costing the participating states a fortune, Novi list warns:
“Trump magnanimously stressed that anyone who needed fuel should just call the US because it has huge reserves. That's all very well if the world's leading power and its brash president want to support former socialist states stretching all the way from the Black Sea to the Adriatic and the Baltic. … But who's supposed to pay for it all? It's no secret that the US owns vast fuel reserves. But its gas is also far more expensive than Russian gas. We shouldn't burden our already weak economy and poor living standards with US fuel that's too expensive.”
Hungary as a bridge between east and west
Hungary could soon play a key role in Eastern Europe, the pro-government daily Magyar Hírlap rejoices:
“The region between Germany and Russia is gaining in significance. The twelve countries that make up 22 percent of the EU's population currently have the highest rate of economic growth in the Union. From a political, economic, infrastructural and defence policy perspective, this strategically important region could become a key power factor in Europe alongside the Berlin-Paris tandem. ... The Viségrad group, in which Hungary plays a leading role, is clearly the motor of regional cooperation. If Hungary shows courage, intelligence and stamina, it could become an important bridge and a strategic hub between east and west.”