North Sweden European Office, together with regional offices concerned by the development of the Bothnian Corridor in northern Norway, northern Sweden and northern Finland arranged a seminar on the future of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors. The seminar was held at the European Parliament on 18 October 2017.
Representatives from national and regional levels and from the industry as well as key players from the EU institutions convened in Brussels on 18 October 2017 at the seminar "Future of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors" held at the European Parliament for discussions on the future design of TEN-T's mains corridors as well as investment needs and development potentials in the transport system in the concerned regions.
Herald Ruijters, Director at the European Commission DG MOVE, Åsa Webber, Ambassador at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU, and Mervi Kaikkonen Transport Councellor of Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU, held keynote interventions on the development of EU transport policy in TEN-T and CEF linked to the systems in Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Herald Ruijters highlighted the ongoing preparations of the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) and the revision of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Regulation and in which ways the regions can contribute to policy development. Regarding the extension of the Corridors, Ruijters reminded that this is a competence for the EU Member States and can be carried out upon the request by the governments of Sweden and Finland to the European Commission. Ruijters advocates an extension of Scandinavian-Mediterranean (ScanMed) and North Sea Baltic (NSB) that optimally overlaps at the Gulf of Bothnia.
The intended extension would then e.g. be for NSB from Helsinki to the SE-FI border further via the Iron Ore Line to Narvik in Norway. On the Swedish side an extension from Stockholm along the coast and further via the Haparanda Line to the FI-NO border.
Replying to our question on how he sees the design of the CEF planning structure in the next program period, Ruijters replied that the European Commission wishes to streamline the system into a 2 layer structure that would substitute the current 3 layer system. The new system would in such a scenario be comprised of the Comprehensive Network and the Core Network Corridors. The latter would include the sections defined in the CEF Annex "Other parts of the Core Network". For this to happen, Member States concerned by "Other parts of the Core Network" and whome wish to include these sections in the Core Network Corridors, would be obliged to submit a formal request to the European Commission. The benefit being in a Core Network Corridor is better coordiantion of system planning.
Åsa Webber highlighted the ongoing work in Sweden for the completion of the National Transport Plan (NTP) for 2018-2029. Webber expressed Sweden's commitment to the TEN-T and its commitments there, as well as praised the successful implementation of the CEF so far, and expressed that Sweden is confident of its potential to continue delivering in the future.
Regional representatives from Sweden, Finland and Norway, as well as industry, participated in the panel debate on the importance of being part of the EU TEN-T network and the added value of the EU as a whole.
Jens Nilsson and Merja Kyllönen, both members of the European Parliament's Transport Committee, hosted the seminar.
North Sweden European Office: Actions undertaken towards the development of TEN-T and CEF
North Sweden European Office, together with the infrastructure strategists at the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten and Region of Västerbotten, launched their lobby work on the future design of TEN-T's Core Network Corridors in the position paper on the mid-term evaluation of the White Paper "Roadmap for a Common European Transport Area - A Competitive and Resource Effective Transport System ". This has laid the foundation for the continued work and discussions for this seminar.
Position Papers on the issue