The Three Seas Initiative, the United States and European Security

Webinar · 07.12.2021 13:30 - 14:30

The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is a political format of 12 EU member states located in Eastern Europe between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Seas set up to foster sectoral and business cooperation across Europe´s eastern flank. Born in 2015, the initiative has its roots in the United States mentorship during the second Obama administration´s term. Building upon on those roots, the Biden administration has endorsed the 3SI while focusing on democratic security agenda. On December 9-10 Washington will host the first of two Summits for Democracy which will bring together leaders from government, civil society and the private sector to tackle threats faced by democracies today. The 3SI functions through a private fund which has several key allies from the Western world. The initiative is tasked with investing in private-public partnerships in 3SI transnational projects focused on transportation, energy, digital infrastructure as well as civil society initiatives in the future. Its purpose is to reinforce transnational cooperation between member countries which currently face clusters of challenges ranging from resurgent nationalism, democratic backsliding and geopolitical hybrid interference to increasing influence of China and military conflicts sponsored by Russia or its revisionists allies. 

In this presentation the three speakers will discuss the 3SI from the perspectives of EU security, of the non-Nato member states Austria and Finland, of the planned civil society initiatives and state governance.  

The webinar is organized in cooperation with the Embassy of Latvia in Austria, Res Publica Foundation, Warsaw and European Council on Foreign Relations, Sofia.

You can register for the webinar here.


Opening words

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the US global role, dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is "Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling – The 'Thucydidean Brink' in Regressive Geopolitical Competition" (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).


Vessela Tcherneva

Deputy Director, European Council on Foreign Relations, Head of Sofia Office of the ECFR

Vessela Tcherneva is the deputy director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and head of the Sofia office. Her topics of focus include EU foreign policy and the Western Balkans and Black Sea region. From 2010 to 2013, Tcherneva was the spokesperson for the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the political cabinet of Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov. Previously, she was secretary of the International Commission on the Balkans, chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and former German President Richard von Weizsäcker; the supervising editor of the Foreign Policy Bulgaria magazine; and political officer at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, DC. Tcherneva holds an MA in Political Science from the Rhienische Friedrich-Wilhelm Universität in Bonn.

Wojciech Przybylski

Europe´s Future Fellow at IWM Vienna; Editor-in-Chief, Visegrad Insight and Res Publica Foundation, Warsaw

Wojciech Przybylski is Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Mr Przybylski also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.

Edgars Bondars

Ambassador for the Three Seas Initiative of the Republic of Latvia, Host Country of the Initiative 2022

Edgars Bondars is Ambassador for the Three Seas Initiative of the Republic of Latvia, Host Country of the Initiative 2022. Bondars has formally served as Latvia´s Ambassador to diverse countries in Eurasia such as Uzbekistan in Central Asia and Poland in Central Europe.


Rinna Kullaa

Associate Professor Global History, Tampere University

Rinna Kullaa is Associate Professor at Tampere University. She works in global history, international relations and European union´s foreign and security to policy. She is a specialist of the contemporary Mediterranean area and Russian foreign policy. At the centre of her research are history of transformation from colonialism to the current era; the consequences of great power politics, and history of diplomacy. She is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow 2015-2020 and Academy of Finland NONHEGFP project leader 2019-2023.