President Rumen Radev will Propose that the Educational and Scientific Connectivity Becomes a Priority of the Three Seas Regional Initiative
A high economic growth is achieved with an accelerated transition to green and digital economy, not only by laying pipes and asphalt, the Bulgarian Head of State said in Tallinn
When Bulgaria becomes host of the Three Seas initiative for regional development, President Radev will propose the inclusion of educational and scientific connectivity as a priority for the participating countries. Infrastructure is important, but the economy of the future requires investing in science and education connectivity, capacity building and connecting our young research teams, organizations, and universities, the Head of State told journalists in Tallinn, where he took part in the summit of the Initiative. At the forum Rumen Radev will take over the hosting of the Initiative from Estonia.
In the Bulgarian President’s words, the Three Seas Initiative encompasses countries with similar historical heritage and with similar problems to address in the future, and it is only logical that the 12 participating countries invest together in this future. “The main goal of the Three Seas Initiative is to develop energy, transport, and digital connectivity, but I don’t think that our ambitions should boil down to that only. The Initiative would benefit from conceptual expansion and the inclusion of educational and scientific connectivity as a priority, because we cannot be preoccupied only with the prospects of laying pipes and asphalt,” Rumen Radev said before taking part in the forum.
The President noted that infrastructure connectivity should not be considered an end in itself, but rather a means to the major end. “And it is achieving high, sustainable economic growth and living standards similar to those of developed European countries, based on an accelerated transition to a green and digital economy. This cannot be achieved by asphalt alone,” Rumen Radev added.
The Bulgarian Head of State will propose as a priority also expanding the geographical scope of the Initiative – by including Greece and Cyprus. “I have already held talks with the leaders of these countries, and they would gladly respond to such an invitation, which I intend to extend,” Rumen Radev said. In his words, having these two European countries join the Initiative would give Bulgaria new prospects and a better position, because our country is not interested in remaining in the geographical periphery and having the infrastructural, energy and digital routes end at Bulgaria’s border. “These should continue also towards Bulgaria’s partners, and Greece and Cyprus are a natural continuation of the Initiative,” Rumen Radev said. The Head of State added that important energy and transport routes should be taken into consideration that pass along the Bulgarian-Greek border and the significant gas deposits with which Cyprus could join.
The President said that more resources should be attracted to the Investment Fund of the Initiative. Poland has already contributed 500 million euro, for Bulgaria and the other participating countries the minimum contribution for now is 20 million euro. The US has committed to an investment of 1 billion dollars, provided all countries contribute to the common Investment Fund. “This money is critically little against the backdrop of all projects on infrastructural development, but resources are yet to be sought,” Rumen Radev said.
Today the Bulgarian Head of State will symbolically take over the hosting of the Three Seas Initiative, which unites 12 European countries, located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Sea. The goal is, through joint projects, to promote the cooperation for infrastructure, digital and energy connectivity, in order to achieve sustainability and economic growth.
Host of the summit in Tallinn is President Kersti Kaljulaid and this year most of the heads of state of the participating countries will take part in it online.