Host of the Forum and President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas. Photo by: Erik Peinar, Riigikogu.

The discussions at the First Three Seas Parliamentary Forum, which was initiated by Estonia and was held today in virtual format, focused on financing priority interconnection projects and attracting private investments.

The Speakers of the Parliaments of the Three Seas Initiative countries emphasised in their speeches strengthening of the initiative and enhancing practical cooperation in achieving its goals, as well as the role of the parliaments in this process.

Host of the Forum and President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas said in his speech that the initiative’s underlying goal was a greener European Union, and in order to achieve that, it was necessary implement modern priority interconnection projects.

In his speech, Ratas underlined the importance of the Three Seas Initiative Investment fund and attracting private investors. “This fund is a unique financial vehicle that brings together public and private capital to address our infrastructure development needs,” Ratas said.

Nine 3SI countries have joined the fund, and its total capital amounts to 1 billion euro. The fund has made its first investments – into Polish railway company Cargounit and Estonian Greenergy Data Centres.

The President of the Riigikogu underlined that it was in the competence of parliaments to further enhance the legislative environment and business-friendly climate. “We need to facilitate the implementation of our priority projects together. Cross-border cooperation is essential in reducing the administrative burden and making the process of investing into connectivity projects as smooth as possible for investors,” Ratas said.

Ratas thanked the participants of the forum and expressed hope that it would become an annual event.

The Three Seas Parliamentary Forum was attended by the Speakers of the Parliaments of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Member of the United States House of Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Head of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund Origination Joe Philipsz also delivered speeches.

The video of the  Three Seas Parliamentary Forum is available here:

The Three Seas Initiative (Three Seas Initiative, 3SI) cooperation format was launched at the presidential level in 2016 as a platform to provide political support for accelerating economic development as well as for enhancing intra-regional and cross-border cooperation and connectivity among 12 EU member states between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea. The United States, Germany, and the European Commission are the strategic partners of the 3SI.