Tallinn will host the Three Seas Virtual Summit and Web Forum on October 19, which will open with a debate between heads of state. The meeting will include presentations and discussions on the funding of international infrastructure projects, and will offer solutions for the digitisation of the energy and transport sectors. Estonia, as the world’s first digital society, will be showcasing the Smart Connectivity vision created to support the development of the Three Seas region. The event will be broadcast live online, moderated by leading journalists.

The Three Seas Summit and Business Forum which was due to take place in Estonia in October had to be postponed due to the spread of coronavirus. According to President Kersti Kaljulaid organising a major international event in the traditional conference format will have to wait for a more suitable time. “With coronavirus being so widespread, and given the short-term forecasts, we have been forced to err on the side of caution and, with the safety and well-being of all participants in mind, we have decided to conduct the summit virtually on 19 October,” she explained. The presidents of all 12 Member States of the Three Seas Initiative are expected to take part in the virtual meeting.

The virtual summit will focus on three areas: firstly, the future and role of the initiative in enhancing the economic growth and energy security of Member States; secondly, the funding of international projects in the fields of energy, transport and digital infrastructure in the Three Seas region; and thirdly, outlining the Smart Connectivity vision. The latter represents an additional contribution on Estonia’s part to help find ways of making more effective use of infrastructure.

The aim of Smart Connectivity is to establish a growth platform for innovative services and to support economic growth based on innovation. This could ultimately lead, for example, to the automatisation of road transport and the smart transformation of electricity networks, allowing consumers to simultaneously play the roles of energy consumer, producer and saver. In order to realise this ambitious vision, the same principles will need to be observed throughout the Three Seas region when constructing transport and energy infrastructure and there will need to be a greater focus on the open exchange of data and the use of data that have been amassed.

“Cooperating internationally, boosting the economy and investing for the long term are of key importance in overcoming the ongoing crisis,” said President Kaljulaid. “The aims of the Three Seas Initiative – energy security, economic growth, transatlantic cooperation and the fulfilment of climate goals – remain the focus of Member States, and the initiative is steaming ahead on its charted course.”