New EU infrastructure policy launched in Tallinn – High visibility for Rail Baltica
The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Days in Tallinn on 16-18 October focused on the launching of the EU’s new infrastructure policy. The EU will invest €26 billion for co-funding transport projects to build cross-border missing links, remove bottlenecks and make the network smarter. Under the supervision of EU Commission Vice-President responsible for transport Siim Kallas, the new TEN-T Core Network Corridor maps were published. The historic moment of revealing the maps of the the nine Core Network Corridors took place at the opening session. The nine Corridors will underpin the EU's Single Market and increase the European internal cohesion.
The new policy sets the focus on a core transport network for Europe. Its aim is to concentrate spending on a smaller number of projects where real EU added value can be realised. "Transport is vital to the European economy. Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper. This new EU infrastructure policy will put in place a powerful European transport network across 28 Member States to promote growth and competitiveness. It will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European", Vice-President Kallas said.
One of the most visible and discussed topics of the TEN-T days in Tallinn was Rail Baltica. In the new European Core Network Rail Baltica is part of the North Sea – Baltic Corridor which runs from the major port cities of the Eastern North Sea coast to the Eastern Baltic Sea Region ending in Helsinki. Rail Baltica themes were particularly featured in RB Express conference train covering the way from Vilnius to Tallinn in the framework of the TEN-T Days programme. RBGC project experiences and results as well as continuation strategies were presented and discussed on board. Project Manager Malla Paajanen gave a presentation on the Rail Baltic Branding project funded by the EUSBSR Seed Money Facility. Additionally, the RBGC and RBGC-Russia projects had a joint stand in the TEN-T Days exhibition area.
During the TEN-T days, the stakeholders of the new North Sea – Baltic Corridor had their first get-together meeting organized by the EU Commission’s representatives Senior Adviser James Pond from DG MOVE and Rail Baltica European Coordinator Pavel Telička who chaired the meeting. The RBGC project core partners participated in the meeting together with a large group of other stakeholders representing the Corridor. The meeting is expected to have continuation in a few months after the European Coordinators for the nine Corridors have been nominated. With an important linkage and relevance to the RBGC Strategy, Commissioner Kallas signed in Tallinn the TEN-T financing of 11,3 MEUR for the co-operation project of the ports of Helsinki and Tallinn, the TWIN-PORT project. The financing is directed to improve the ferry operation fluency in both ports and to improve the ferry capacity between Helsinki and Tallinn.
The TEN-T Days took place for the 6th time. The event gathered to Tallinn more than 1,400 people, including Transport Ministers, Members of the European Parliament, CEOs and stakeholders from all the transport sectors. For more information about the TEN-T days, please visit www.tentdays2013.eu