In the Polish scientific and geopolitical discourse there is about 100-years old tradition of the concept of distinguishing countries located in the (quite generally described) area located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas, which is based on at least two falsehoods and one understatement.
First of all – especially Polish politicians like to add to this project (born on the wave of the collapse of the Russian Empire and the emergence of new nationalisms in its areas) whole Centuries of supposedly natural integration processes taking place from Scandinavia to the Balkans, of course, with particular regard to the aspirations of some Polish monarchs (especially from the Jagiellonian dynasty), leaders (Adam Jerzy, Prince Czartoryskiand Józef Piłsudski) and writers (Jerzy Giedroyc, Rowmund Piłsudski, Juliusz Mieroszewski). Meanwhile, only these last ones, 20thCentury activists and thinkers were true supporters, and in fact also the creators and continuators of the Polish version of the known German theory and practice of domination and exploitation of the German-Russian borderlands in the first half of the 20th Century. Any prior genesis and justification given to this idea is pure historical anachronism.
Secondly – the authorship, and thus the “natural leadership” of the project, is eagerly attributed to Poles by… falsehood. Meanwhile, there is no doubt that despite the different names – the vision of Intermarium, the Three Seas or any other Central European Initiatives are just a repetition of the Friedrich Naumann’s (primarily economic) conception, being at most a recapitulation of the tendencies dominating in the war and industrial spheres of the German Empire. Similarly, today it is easier for Poles to refer to Marshal Piłsudski and Jerzy Giedroyc than to confirm for example, the inspirational and efficient role of such American politicians as Zbigniew Brzezinski.
However, the understatement mentioned above remains the most important weakness of all these ideas. More precisely, the fact that no common interest could ever be pointed out in the past, unconditionally and unquestionably connecting and uniting the Central and Eastern Europe states, not only those distant from each other such as Finland and Greece, but even as seemingly close and neighbourly as Poland and … Lithuania.
Moreover, that the only common goals for this area have so far been formulated only from the outside, from the point of view of some global power for various reasons wanting to pursue its interests in Central Europe. This was the case with imperial Germany, the Soviet Union, and now with the United States. And in this last, most current sense (in connection with the Three Seas Initiative) it is most clearly seen that this is not an integration, but … an alienation program, intended to exclude acquired countries from other initiatives (primarily the mainstream European Union), and replace their own sovereign geopolitical visions and interests. And this is also the similarity of the American vision of the organization of Central Europe with its German, Kaiser’s original (not to mention the identical purpose of both: economic exploitation.
And of course – these are not the only barriers and limitations for Central European cooperation. It should be emphasized that often the same forces that formally support unity and integration – in fact, stimulate instincts and polarization initiatives, led by escalated ethno-nationalism to the level of chauvinism. It is enough to mention that quite recently, just 105 years ago, Central and Eastern Europe was already subject to far-reaching integration – within the framework of multi-ethnic empires – Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish. And as it turned out, globalization interest (then, of course, not so called) – caused not only awaking the state-building aspirations of historical nations (such as Poles or Czechs), but simply creating new nations, what finally led to fragmentation and permanent conflict in this part of the World (this process was also continued and intensified only 30 years ago, during the collapse of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union).
This is how a significant part of the political borders that divide our World has been established up to this day – and even more importantly, how arose barriers in national consciousness (or according to others – sometimes how they were revealed) in extreme, even pathological forms. And this is also worth remembering that those who today urge for accelerated, political and mostly artificial integration – are often the same who once divided us.
From a purely geopolitical point of view – such a role was played in the Central European area historically by British politics and German practice – and today the by hegemonic interests of the United States in their declining, somewhat self-limiting shape.
We can see the playing of the ethnonationalist factor especially in the Baltic States and recently in Ukraine, and even in Russia, where a few years ago attempts at the “Colour Revolution” from liberal slogans smoothly switched to elements of xenophobia. So, we are dealing with an interesting paradox (in fact, however, rather apparent one).
At the same time we are witnesses of:
– disintegration activities leading to the diversification of the formally functioning European Community (from two points: from Brussels, Paris and Berlin to a Europe of Two Speeds – most of Eurozone vs. the rest and from Washington to create “an even more American Europe“, i.e. the Three-Seas Initiative;
– supporting chauvinistic ethno-nationalisms in these areas, which in principle are against any real regional cooperation.
All these tactics are intertwined and complementary, which makes us understand that their real goal is neither real integration, including creation of any separate value (no matter – true or imaginary) in the form of the organization of the Intermarium area; nor the actual restoration of the national principle in World relations. So regardless of whether we want to increase the factor of cooperation and integration, or whether we recognize the priority of the national factor – the vision of the Three-Seas / Intermarium is radically contradictory with them and should be rejected.