The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is a forum of twelve Central and Eastern European EU member states established in 2016. At the beginning, the three countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary – were considered as “reluctant participants” of the initiative, but as the 3SI developed over the past 5 years, their positions evolved as well.
The new policy paper of the Association for International Affairs supported by the Prague office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom presents an overview of the Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian positions towards the 3SI.
After some initial doubts about the real intentions of this endeavour, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest incorporated the 3SI into their portfolios of Central European cooperation formats in which they participate. Strong U.S. support for the project makes the initiative more attractive for its reluctant members as it offers a long-term item for the agenda of relations between Washington D.C. and the CEE countries.
The 3SI will continue to be part of the Central European policies of Prague, Bratislava and Budapest, yet additional effort is needed to make it a serious priority and to tap the potential it offers.
At the same time, the active involvement of these three countries is essential for the 3SI’s main objective – the improvement of the infrastructural interconnectedness in the CEE – as the three countries lie in the centre of the region’s north-south axis.
For more information, see the full policy paper written by Vít Dostál, Tomáš Strážay, and Zsuzsanna Végh here.
The article was originally published at: https://www.freiheit.org/central-europe-and-baltic-states/perspective-czech-republic-hungary-and-slovakia-three-seas