Schuman’s youth prescription for the EU. Piotr Tarnogórski: The Three Seas Initiative is medicine for the European Union

“The Three Seas cannot be in opposition to the EU. The Three Seas is a medicine for the EU, because this is where we have these values, community, economic cooperation, cooperation in the youth field, cooperation at the level of parliaments” – Piotr Tarnogórski from the Schuman Youth Groups said, explaining during the Schuman Trimarium The Forum sees the role he sees for the Three Seas Initiative within the European Union. During the third day of the meeting, 150 young people from 10 countries diagnosed the situation in the EU and considered what actions should be taken to heal it.

Dr. Filip Ludwin, vice-rector of Collegium Intermarium, pointed out the need to formalize the structures of the Three Seas Initiative. “The idea of creating an international organization in our region appeared in our talks a year ago, and over the course of this year I can say that I have only confirmed this idea by seeing the reality around us, seeing, above all, the war in Ukraine. Seeing a number of problems that countries of our region are struggling with, it seems that such an organization would be very necessary to better coordinate activities in our region, to better solve the problems we face, and also to complement European integration at the regional level” – he explained.

“When I talk about the need to create a new international organization in the Three Seas region, I do not mean an institution opposed to the European Union, but I mean an institution that would complement European integration at the regional level” – he clarified.

He pointed out that such an organization would allow for more efficient resolution of problems between countries, because “there are quite a lot of problems between our countries, despite many common features, despite many similarities, despite a similar history”. He gave examples of Hungarian-Romanian relations, the issue of Polish-Ukrainian relations and the issue of the Treaty of Trianon. “There are many difficulties in the region and in order for them not to disturb the general trend of development of our region, we would need an organization that would have its own permanent bodies, primarily the General Assembly and the Secretariat, which could respond on an ongoing basis to the challenges we face, so that it was a certain platform to discuss and solve common problems” – he continued.

In his opinion, a good inspiration in this context could be the Nordic Council, which has been operating since the 1960s and integrates the Scandinavian countries, including three belonging to the European Union. “There is no contradiction with the European Union here. Even the statutory objectives of the Nordic Council stipulate that the Council is to lead to the agreement of a certain common policy of the Nordic countries on the EU forum. In my opinion, it is worth being inspired by such an example and trying to create something similar in our region “- Dr. Ludwin emphasized.

Let us defend unity in sovereignty

“We have been systematically colonized, we have been completely subordinated to interests to the East and to the West of us historically since the Middle Ages, which means that we are very well connected with West – East perspective. But for the North-South perspective there is a huge lack of connections” – said Denes, who came to Krasiczyn from Hungary. He emphasized that Hungary wants to create a region “which is connected, which is prosperous, which is secured”.

The young expert from Hungary also referred to the current attacks on Poland and Hungary over the alleged lack of the rule of law. “When you take part in some events and someone wants to talk down to you, tries to undermine the rule of law, democracy of your countries and tries to use all these arguments, remember one thing: the 13 member countries of this region are responsible for 29 percent of the area Europe, that is, 1.5 million km2. We have over 120 million citizens, which is 25 percent of the total EU population, so we represent 1/4 of the citizens of the European Union. So when someone tries to talk to you like that, you should respond with all respect, that when former colonialists took full advantage of our achievements and robbed our riches, we did not blink an eye, but now we will not allow this to continue. We refer to our traditions, we are developing faster and we will eventually overtake you” – he said. “We should respect the equality of voices of all members in this Three Seas initiative. This principle should also apply throughout the EU. It is completely unacceptable that unelected bureaucrats can dictate terms to national governments and MEPs, even if they disagree with their proposed proposals. solutions” – he added.

In turn, Bartosz Stanek pointed out that “many people perceive the Three Seas Initiative as something that can replace the European Union”. “In my opinion, this is impossible, even counterproductive” – he said. He pointed out that a group could be created within the Three Seas Initiative that would have a greater opportunity to fight for its interests in the European Union. Piotr Tarnogórski commented in a similar tone. “The Three Seas cannot be in opposition to the EU. The Three Seas is a medicine for the EU, because this is where we have these values, community, economic cooperation, cooperation in the youth field, cooperation at the level of parliaments” – he argued. Piotr Tarnogórski pointed out that imperialism threatens us not only in the East, but very often in the countries of Western Europe. He emphasized that the task of the Three Seas is to help Europe return to its roots in a situation when it itself has ambitions to create a superstate under the dictate of some countries.

The founder of the Universal University of Christian and Social Teaching (PUNCS), Dr. Marek Oktaba, thinks in a similar way. He emphasized that the only salvation for Europe is to return to the roots, to Schuman’s ideas, which the Schuman Thought Institute is trying to implement by building coalitions with partners in other countries.

The Schuman Trimarium Forum is organized by the Institute of Schuman Thought with the participation of substantive and strategic partners, including the Marshal’s Office of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship and the Industrial Development Agency. About 150 young people from 10 countries are taking part in the event, which will last until September 22, 2023. They have the opportunity to benefit from the experience of people who are authorities in their fields and integrate with each other. The forum is accompanied by cultural events, including dance games and national dance courses. The event was held under the patronage of the Speaker of the Sejm, Elżbieta Witek.

Anna Wiejak

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