On 18 March, the Swedish government decided to approve five infrastructure projects for further application to the EU Fund for the Interconnected Europe Fund (CEF), four of which are within the Bothnian Corridor – located in northern Sweden.
CEF - Connecting Europe Fund
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the financing mechanism for the TEN-T trans-European transport network. The objective of the fund is for the EU to support a transport system linking Europe's northern parts interregional, along border crossings, within the EU and with the rest of the world. It is of great importance in a geographically large but sparsely populated region with an export-intensive economy. The Fund allows Member States to apply for co-financing for infrastructure projects.
The Bothnian corridor
The Bothnian corridor collaboration is a joint work between seven regions (Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Jämtland, Dalarna, Gävleborg and Örebro) which together make up two thirds of Sweden's area.
The aim of the cooperation is to strengthen the transport infrastructure and improve relations between northern Sweden and the rest of Europe, as well as connect northern Scandinavia, by developing a joint proposal on how the infrastructure can be expanded.
When completed, it should be possible to travel quickly and comfortably by train throughout Europe to northernmost Sweden.
Everyday thousands of trucks from northern Sweden also go down to the continent. The corridor would provide an opportunity for long-distance goods to go by rail instead, which would be one of the most effective climate efforts that Sweden can make soon.
"With smart infrastructure, we build Sweden strongly. I am pleased that there are several good project proposals that the government can now approve. Sweden has project participation in more than 10% of all EU CEF projects – this is an impressive figure for one of Europe's smallest countries," said Tomas Eneroth, Swedish minister for Infrastructure, in the Swedish government press release.