1. We, the
Presidents and high-level representatives of the 12 participating states - Republic of Austria,
Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, Czech Republic, Republic of Estonia,
Hungary, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Poland,
Romania, Slovak Republic, Republic of Slovenia - of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI), have
gathered in Sofia, on 8th and 9th July 2021, on the occasion of the 3SI Sofia
Summit and Business Forum with the intention of taking stock of the progress and setting the way forward for the
2. We reconfirm
our continued strong commitment to the Three Seas Initiative and welcome the
developments reached so far since the summits in Dubrovnik (2016), Warsaw
(2017), Bucharest (2018), Ljubljana (2019) and Tallinn (2020), which have laid
a solid ground for close regional cooperation and for strengthening the
3. We welcome
the strong and continuous support of our partners – the United States of
America, the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Commission. We will
conduct our common activities in full synergy with the EU strategic agenda,
Next Generation ЕU and the transatlantic partnership.
4. We are
pleased to welcome the high-level participation of the United States of
America, the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Commission, as well
as our guest - the President of the Hellenic Republic, at the 3SI Sofia Summit
and Business Forum.
5. We reiterate
the agreed basic principles for the functioning of the Three Seas Initiative -
membership in the EU, long-term nature of joint plans, openness to business community,
as well as better defining and promoting drivers of modernization in the
6. We will
continue our common efforts to reaffirm the Three Seas Initiative as a cooperation
platform aimed at increasing connectivity especially along the North-South axis
in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in the fields of transport, energy
and digitalization, strengthening cohesion and convergence within the EU.
7. In the
current European context affected by the pandemic, we firmly believe that the
coherent activity of the Three Seas Initiative will provide a broader framework
for deeper cooperation aiming at recharging our economies and developing
8. The Initiative
aligns itself fully with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the European Green
Deal and the Trans-European Networks (TEN) instrument. It aims also at
promoting good governance, green economy as well as smart and sustainable
development thus contributing to the European Single market.
9. We emphasize
that strengthening energy security and diversification of routes and sources of
supply across the region, together with the just transition to climate neutral
energy sector, are our paramount priorities. In this context, we support
development of hydrogen, particularly from renewable sources in the Three Seas
10. We are
confident that working together for connectivity in science, education,
technology and innovation will provide more sustainable future development for
the Three Seas Initiative region. We, therefore, acknowledge the need to
further mainstream sustainable development at all levels through
well-elaborated coordinated networking, with shared principles and priorities
aimed at the general increase in the Research and Innovation capability of each
participating country and the Three Seas Initiative region as a whole.
11. We are committed
to enhancing regional transport infrastructure by developing relevant trans-border
and cross-regional projects, and doing so in accordance with the principles of
free-market economies, democratic values, and transparency, as well as
financial, environmental, and social sustainability, compliant with
international law, standards, and regulations.
12. We will
proceed with implementation of the Smart Connectivity vision by introducing
innovative and secure digital platforms to support regional networks.
13. We recognize
the fact that closing just 50 percent of the infrastructure gap on the North-South
axis of the European Union in the regional infrastructural connectivity by 2030
would cost between 3 to 8 percent of GDP per year. The 3SI list of strategic priority
interconnectivity projects highlights the infrastructure investments needs and
potential in the Three Seas region.
14. We acknowledge
the significant potential of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund (3SIIF)
as an important co-financing mechanism for closing the infrastructure gap in
the region, and thus we will continue to encourage the strengthening of the
Fund through greater investment and stimulating public-private partnerships. We
acknowledge the first three selected
projects of the 3SIIF and look forward to the next investment decisions.
15. We are aware
that infrastructure projects are the cornerstone of the Three Seas Initiative
and acknowledge their significant importance to achievement of our common
goals. Therefore, the cooperation has to be project-oriented and focus on the
development of infrastructural links between our countries, reflecting on the
economic efficiency and the region-wide balance.
16. We are
pleased to note that nine participating states have pledged to the 3SIIF.
17. We welcome the decision of the US administration to continue its strong
support for the Three Sea Initiative while offering an ambitious perspective
both for infrastructure connectivity in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as
well as to the transatlantic partnership and welcome the decision of the U.S.
International Development Finance Corporation to work toward an ideal
investment structure for a commitment to the Fund.
18. We welcome
the interest and engagement of European and international financial institutions
in the Three Seas Initiative and encourage them to join as investors to the
19. We remain
open to collaborate with other regional and global actors with whom we share
the same democratic values, the European and transatlantic orientation goals, and common interests. At the same time, we
uphold our readiness to involve, based on consensus, non-Three Seas Initiative
countries in implementing regional priority projects, developed under the Three
20. We welcome
the regular update of the interactive Three Seas Projects Progress Report
launched after the Fourth 3SI Summit in Slovenia. The Report provides a
transparent platform for periodic evaluation of the implementation of 3SI
projects and highlights the consistent increase in the number of 3SI Priority
Projects, reaching the number of 90 in 2021, as well as the advancement in the
development of existing projects.
21. We devote
special attention to the organization in Sofia of the third edition of the 3SI Business
Forum, which has become an important platform for interaction and networking
between state agencies, development banks and business associations, promoting
new investment opportunities.
22. We recognize
the need for and encourage the enhanced intergovernmental cooperation at 3SI for
the operational implementation of priority interconnection projects and
therefore welcome the 3SI ministerial meetings organized by Poland (2019),
Estonia (2020) and Bulgaria (2021).
23. We agree
that our efforts shall continue to encourage networks and connectivity between parliamentary
institutions, local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and other business
associations, small and medium size enterprises, technology parks, start-up and
fin-tech companies, digital data hubs and green industrial zones, which bring
added value to the goals of the Three Seas Initiative.
24. We recognize
the need to further enhance, stimulate and inspire strategic debate on the
involvement of the Three Seas Initiative in coordinated execution of EU and
transatlantic policies about facilitating the implementation of the agreed 3SI
connectivity projects. We agree to hold a discussion within the Sherpa format,
in collaboration with the respective host country of the Initiative, also welcoming
involvement of National Coordinators. We expect the deliverables of this debate
to be reported at the next 3SI Summit.
25. We welcome
development of 3SI supportive duo format based on the two consecutive Host
countries’ programs. In line with the advancement of our cooperation, we will
stimulate the dialogue on further profiling of this format, which will support
the Host country in its work. We agree that the starting point of the model of
implementation includes - a Vademecum, containing the relevant information with
regard to the progress achieved so far in the work of the Initiative, the
remaining issues to be implemented and the specific experience gathered; an
Action plan and a Calendar of events.
26. We welcome
the readiness of Latvia to host the next Three Seas Summit and Business Forum
 The Second Summit of the 3 Seas Initiative Joint Declaration,
 Joint Statement Tallinn, 19 October 2020, para 4
 Calculation by International Monetary Fund.