Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth announced March 21, 2018 that Sweden has submitted a request to the European Commission to extend the Scandinavian-Mediterranean (ScanMed) Corridor to northern Sweden and along the section Örebro-Oslo.
- I have sent a request to the European Commission to extend the ScanMed Corridor that today ends in Stockholm. We want to show that we are a government for all of Sweden, so it is important to show that we also take responsibility for a good infrastructure, also in Northern Sweden, Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth (S) said to SVT, the Swedish Broadcasting company.
The extension of Scandinavian-Mediterranean Core Network Corridor will stretch from Stockholm along the coast line in northern Sweden including the East Coast Line and the North Bothnia Line, and further along the Iron Ore Line to the Swedish-Norwegian border to connect to Narvik and through the Haparanda Line to the border passage SE-FI at Haparanda- Tornio. The extension will include the Bothnian Corridor in its entirety as well as the Iron Ore Line.
The extension is important for several infrastructure projects, especially in northern Sweden. If the proposal is realized, this will enable us to apply for co-funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). CEF gives priority to Core Network Corridors, towards which 80% of the CEF budget today and also anticipated in CEF post2020 is allocated to projects along the Core Network Corridors. The extension also provides an opportunity for the concerned regions to cooperate in the trans-European transport cooperation.
- There is a strong interest to extend the ScanMed from regional players and I am therefore happy to be able to deliver this message today. I have good hopes that the European Commission will take a positive stand to the Swedish request - not least as there is also a strong Finnish interest in the extension question, Minister of Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth, concluded.
The extension will bring about added value for the development of the transport system in both north-south and east-west directions.
North Sweden European Office pro-extension work
- We at North Sweden have worked closely with our regional representatives and other like-minded to put this item on the agenda. We have had immense support from the European Commission DG MOVE and the European Coodinator Pat Cox who at a very early stage realized the needs, benefits and potentials of improved and closer links of the TEN-T system to the European Arctic, says Mona Mansour, Senior Adviser European Affairs, North Sweden European Office.
The extension of ScanMed would provide solid support from EU and national level to the region to develop the transport system on the heavly trafficed Iron Ore Line Luleå-Kiruna-Narvik and the North Bothnia Line Umeå-Luleå which is the bottleneck in the Swedish transport system as well as on the East Coast Line Umeå-Sundsvall. In addition, attention would now also be drawn to the remaining bottlenecks outside the Core Network and the Core Network Corridor in our region to improve the network in the Swedish Arctic for instance between Kolari in Finland to Svappavaara in Sweden and also to finalize the Motorway of the Sea link via the Midway Alignment between Umeå and Vasa.
On February 22, 2018 EFNS the network for local and regional politicians in Northern Sweden adopted a position paper on EU's future Transport Policy. Extension of ScanMed is one of the priorities in the paper that also identifies other challenges. We look therefore forward further continued constructive cooperation on all levels to ensure a high-leverage for our region in the negotiatons on the Multiannaual Finacial Framework (MFF) of the European Union for the period 2021-2027.
The European Commission will present the next MFF-proposal May 2 and the CEF-regulation May 29.