The Digital 3 Seas Initiative – Mapping the challenges to overcome

Launched in 2016 by the countries bordering the Adriatic, the Baltic, and the Black Seas, the Three Seas Initiative is an exceptional effort to increase interconnectivity in the fields of energy, transport, and digitalisation. The initiative aims to deepen integration among 12 EU countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and to strengthen economic competitiveness, connectivity and cohesion of the Central and Eastern European region.

It is believed that this great endeavour cannot be successful without taking into account cybersecurity that pervades all the three fields. Without enhancing the security of national and joint infrastructures that operate or will operate on new technologies in the near future, each project under the Initiative is bound to be exposed to cyberattacks and cyber disruptions. Therefore, cybersecurity is an overarching dimension that permeates all the pillars of the 3SI. What is more, another pillar emerges and becomes increasingly prominent – the digital one. The full picture of the 3S region cannot be seen without a thorough analysis of the ICT sector, digital skills and industry or 5G, not to mention the most up and coming field of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Drawing upon the 3SI, the Digital 3 Seas Initiative proposes solutions to tackle technology and cybersecurity within this international framework.

On 17 September 2018, the leaders of member countries of the 3SI gathered in Bucharest for the third Three Seas Summit, with an aim to make substantial progress on some of the high level polical projects. Historically, more effort was made to link the infrastructures of eastern and western parts of Europe, whereas attention has now turned to establishing functional North-South connections. These connections are a goal to be realised by the means of infrastructure, economic integration, and interconnectivity. One of the summit’s outcomes was a shortlist of major strategic projects in the energy, transport and digital sectors. Was part of the digital sector, the 3 Seas Digital Highway – which is one the solutions to enhance North-South digital connections in the region – has been chosen one of the priority interconnection projects of the 3SI.


In order for the publication to present as wide range of viewpoints as possible, the representatives of 5 out of 12 3S countries (Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia), including think tanks and experts, were asked to participate in the creation of the Roadmap.

The chapters reflect the standpoints of several authors from these countries. In addition, the think tank delegates were asked to take part in a survey which covered questions concerning all the key topics covered in this publication. Their responses have been woven into the final document in several different forms: as the main narration, a CASE STUDY and a SUCCESS STORY. The chapters give also an outline of the current state of play, seen from the perspective of both the 3S region and the European Union. Each chapter ends with The Digital 3 Seas ‘To Do’ List section and provides specific recommendations for the 3S countries.

Download the publication – The Digital 3 Seas Initiative – Mapping the challenges to overcome


Public task co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland under the competition „Support for the civil and municipal dimension of Poland’s foreign policy 2018”.

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this publication lies entirely with the authors.

* support encompases activities performed between 1st June – 30th November 2018 related to creation and promotion of the Digital 3 Seas Roadmap.