The idea of the Three Seas in the historical context

Author: Tomasz Pysiak

The origins of the idea of the Three Seas (Tri Marium) can be found in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was the political thought of the community of nations (Poland, Lithuania and, for a certain period, Ruthenia) that was the direct stimulus for coining the concept of Intermarium, i.e. the historical Intermarium. An important element of this idea was the establishment of a community of different nations through common points, such as similar traditions or common values, in this case the value of freedom and sovereignty as the superior indicator organizing relations within the Intermarium countries. Of course, the aim of this political and social project was to consolidate sovereignty through intensive cooperation between the “associated” countries.

A very important element to guarantee the effective operation of the Intermarium was to be a lasting alliance between the countries located between the “ABC Seas” (Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas). It is therefore clear that historical activities aimed at achieving the goal of the Intermarium do not differ much from the contemporary perception of the Three Seas as a certain political, social and economic force and counterweight to the imperialist ambitions of the Russian Federation as well as attempts at German domination in the West. This concept, with some modifications, was intended to ensure stability for the region from the beginning.

Its source was in the concept of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was the establishment of a real union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland under the Union of Lublin in 1569. This gave a new development impulse and built the real strength of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ensuring stability and economic prosperity. Very often in the literature, in memory of the union established by the Jagiellonians, the idea of ​​the intermarium is called “Jagiellonian policy”.

The idea of Intermarium once again found its supporters in the conservative party of the Czartoryski family – Hotel Lambert. It was planned to recreate the Polish-Lithuanian community federated with the southern Slavs, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, where Poland was to act as a leader and a kind of mediator between the conflicting parties (Hungary with Slovakia and Hungary with Romania). However, this plan failed. Another attempt to implement this idea was the idea of Marshal Józef Piłsudski, who counted on a strong alliance of the countries of the region in opposition to the USSR and the resurgent Germany. After the war, the idea of Intermarium was strongly emphasized by the Polish Government in exile.

However, it was only after the meeting in Dubrovnik in 2016 of the Presidents of Poland and Croatia that the Three Seas Initiative (Tri Marium) began to be implemented and become a fact. In the new political, economic and social circumstances, it was and is to perform tasks similar to its predecessor – a counterweight to the imperial attempts of Russia and the superstate aspirations of Germany, through European institutions, creating a real development alternative not only for the countries of our region but also for the rest of Europe.