Rumen Radev: Bulgaria Hosted the Three Seas Initiative at a Key Moment When Dialogue Led to the Practical Implementation of Joint Projects
The Bulgarian President handed over the Three Seas Initiative flag to this Latvian counterpart Mr. Egils Levits, who will be the next host of the Initiative
Bulgaria hosted the Three Seas Initiative at a key moment of its development when we all put our efforts into accelerating the transition from political talk to practical actions, declared the Head of State Mr. Rumen Radev in his speech during the Three Seas Initiative Summit press conference. The President outlined the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund as an important tool for stimulating public-private partnership, which already works and has implemented its first investments in the key fields – transport, digitalisation and energy. They are entirely in line with the common policy of a green and innovative European Union, Mr. Rumen Radev emphasised.
The Sofia Summit clearly showed that, thanks to our common political will and hard work, and with the support of our partners, the Initiative has been developing rapidly and is becoming increasingly recognisable and attractive, both regionally and globally, the President pointed out.
Improving coordination and making joint decisions, successfully realising strategic partnerships for the Initiative, as well as adequately using the financial tools of the European Union, and the dialogue with international financial institutions were also discussed during the Sofia Summit.
The Head of State outlined the implemented proposal of our country to create a partnership network among innovations agencies within the countries in the Initiative as a success of today’s Forum. “This shows that our efforts for joint actions in perspective fields are fruitful,” Mr. Rumen Radev stated. The Chambers of Commerce of the Initiative’s countries also deepened their partnership, which started in 2018 in Bucharest, the President further noted.
Alongside developing regional infrastructure, EU Member States in the Initiative must work towards strengthening rule of law and towards more efficient measures for fighting corruption, creating the conditions for guaranteeing media freedom, which is an indicator of the condition of democracy, Mr. Rumen Radev declared.
Ten heads of state, as well as prime ministers, deputy prime ministers and ministers of the countries in the Initiative and its partners the US, Germany and EC participated in the Sofia Summit. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund also joined for the first time. 400 companies from Bulgaria and abroad, including tech giants like Google and Amazon participated in the Three Seas Initiative Summit Business Forum. “Countries from Western Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific participated for the first time, which is an indisputable indicator of the growing interest in the Initiative,” Mr. Rumen Radev stated.
A Joint Declaration of the Heads of State of the Three Seas Initiative was adopted at the forum, confirming the shared political will for further developing the Initiative, as well as for improving connectivity in the three key fields – energy, transport and digitalisation, promoting partnerships with the private sector and presenting new innovative development models.
The handover ceremony of the flag of the Three Seas Initiative was also held during the press conference following the Summit. The President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr. Egils Levits, will host the Initiative in 2022. “I welcome Latvia’s readiness to be the host. We are certain that our Latvian friends will further build on what has been achieved,” the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said.
“It is a big challenge to host the Three Seas Initiative. Latvia is a very innovative country, and we are looking forward to introducing new technologies to support the Initiative and make a big step forward,” stated the President of Latvia Egils Levits, upon receiving the flag of the Three Seas Initiative. The Latvian Head of State expressed Riga’s readiness to focus on attracting more private investments to the Fund of the Initiative. Another priority for Latvia will be promoting the Three Seas Initiative among society and young people.
At the press conference, President Radev stated that, whatever financial tools we may use for social and economic cohesion and convergence between Eastern and Western Europe, we could not achieve good results without real cohesion in education and culture. “This is the future and the decisive criterion for achieving a high standard of living,” Mr. Rumen Radev emphasised. A main task for countries in the region is to convince young people that their future is in their respective homeland, by creating the conditions for developing their potential. Therefore, today’s agreement of the Sofia Summit to create a network of innovations agencies to improve cooperation in research and science is key to the success of the Three Seas Initiative, the President further noted.
The President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, said that today’s Summit reaffirms the growing importance of cooperation in this format, supporting the economic development of the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe and promotes European convergence, cohesion and strengthening the transatlantic connection.
“Over the past two days we have shown optimism and confidence to work in the name of development. Today, the Three Seas Initiative is at the forefront, because we are aware that we must act quickly in order to reach Western Europe. Only in implementing this goal could we achieve real cohesion within the EU. This makes the Initiative a key element in the development of the entire European Union,” declared the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Andrzej Duda at the press conference.
Following the press conference, the four presidents validated a symbolic postmark on the occasion of Bulgaria hosting the Three Seas Initiative in 2021.