Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Management & Economics
The Remake Of Geography Geo-Political And Geo-Economic Reasons For Shifting From E-W To N-S Perspective In The Three Seas Initiative Region
Octavian-Dragomir Jora , Mihaela Lacob and Georgiana Camelia Crețan
By location and legacy, the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) lies at the crossroads of what remains culturally labelled “Central” and “Eastern” Europe(s). The grouping reunites 12 countries that, with the exception of “Old Europe” Austria, share the post-communist NATO and EU membership destiny of the so-called “New Europe” group, with the particular sequels and hopes associated to it. For centuries, the space between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas absorbed the energies of Middle Age imperial tectonics. In the 20th century inter bellum epoch, the region hosted failed attempts of aggregation against latent aggressive menaces coming from an avenging Germany and an ascending Soviet Russia. For almost fifty years, communism made the region an inward-looking camp. Contemporary 3SI, reminiscent of the century-old “Intermarium” Polish idea, is a 2015 project emerged from Poland too and interestedly backed up by Croatia. It refurbished constant issues in the region: concern in relation to Russia (including the energy dependency), confidence in the US security “protectorate” and cautiousness towards the old EU Brussels/Berlin “cores”. This paper surveys the rationales, of both (geo)political and (geo)economic nature, related to the 3SI, comparing them with similar historical initiatives and with alternative/complementary projects prepared in this geographical space. It observes commonalities but also differences of vision between 3SI members and the partners from the hard-core Euro-Atlantic twin-conclaves, as well as among 3SI members themselves: there are clashes inside-NATO and inside-3SI over the attitude towards Russia as well as divisions inside-EU and intra-3SI over the evolution within the Union itself. Starting from the very premise that the strength in (geo)politics requires solid economic structures, the essay observes the fields identified by the artisans of the 3SI as infrastructural backbones of the region, as parts and parcels of the competitive/convergent/cohesive EU integration: energy, transportation and digitalization. An earmarked case study is dedicated to Romania, country holding the Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2019, following a celebration of a century of nation-state unity and forging a societal debate on its place and role in the region/continent/world.