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Reflections on the practical benefits of the Three Seas Initiative

TSI summit from a Bulgarian perspective

P-TECC 2021 summit in Warsaw

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In your opinion, is it possible for a person to see the meaning of the Three Seas Initiative while spending his summer vacation on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast? This is exactly what happened to me this year. There are two basic ways to spend your summer time on the Bulgarian sea. One is to go to a luxury hotel in any of the big resort complexes, made of concrete and glass, in the company of dead drunken foreigners, taking advantage of the cheap (in fact, the cheapest in Europe) Bulgarian alcohol. The other way is to go to a shabby, not completely renovated bungalow, left over from the Socialist era, situated in any of the old oak or pine forests along the coast, meters from the beach. While sunbathing in а reality closer to the second option, I suddenly realized what the Three Seas Initiative is fighting for.

The catalyst was foreign speech. It was a Hungarian family of four, who decided to spend their vacation in this way, apparently familiar from before. To the best of my knowledge, there was also Czech (or Slovak – who knows) speech. So, I just imagined the travel itinerary of this family. Most probably, they have arrived to Bulgaria from their own country with their own car within less than a day. This is a possible and more or less enjoyable drive. However, while this is feasible for citizens of countries in the center of the Three Seas Initiative area, it is not quite possible for those from the Northern periphery of the zone. I cannot imagine that a four-member Polish family would take its family car and risk the long and uncomfortable travel to the Bulgaria Black Sea cost. There are simply no suitable (high)ways for this to happen. And this is one of the realities that the Three Seas Initiative wants to change with appropriate infrastructural projects.

In fact, the road from Warsaw to Paris and Sofia is almost the same in terms of kilometers on the ground, but definitely not in travel hours. In the previous century, my family had a friendly Polish family, and we often exchanged visits (especially in Summer). There was a kind of partnership between two puppet theaters and the heads of the families/institutions somehow found ways to connect the official visits, usually carried out via departmental (buss) transport, with leisure time. Of course, times are different now, but why not again?

The exchange of visits seased due to pecuniary reasons. But when it becomes profitable and possible to travel by personal transport again, I’m sure we will do it again. If not us, who were children at that time, at least our children. In fact, it all comes down to the price and convenience of the trip.

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