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France and Latvia Collaborate on Rail Baltica: A European Infrastructure Vision

France and Latvia Collaborate on Rail Baltica: A European Infrastructure Vision
photo: Rail Baltica/France and Latvia Collaborate on Rail Baltica: A European Infrastructure Vision
10 / 10 / 2023

In a testament to the international collaboration that drives Europe's transport future, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ms. Catherine Colonna, recently toured Latvia's Rail Baltica site. During her official visit, Colonna engaged with her Latvian counterpart, Minister for Transport Kaspars Briškens, as well as key figures from Rail Baltica's coordination and construction teams. Her first-hand experience at Riga Central Station allowed her to witness the transformational scale of the project, emphasizing the pivotal role Rail Baltica will play in Europe's transportation tapestry by 2030.

The Rail Baltica project is not just a regional endeavor; it stands as a symbol of European unity and ambition in transportation. Serving as a lynchpin between the North Sea – Baltic Sea and the Baltic Sea – Black Sea – Aegean Sea TEN-T corridors, it's set to revolutionize connectivity by bridging existing transport gaps. Kaspars Briškens, Latvia's Transport Minister, highlighted the broader implications: "Rail Baltica is the basis for a new economic and security corridor, which as an ecosystem will create broad opportunities for development and cooperation. France is an important strategic partner in the implementation of the project, and I am glad to hear about further cooperation." He also added, "If Rail Baltica were already there, we could have significantly increased our support for Ukraine in their fight, including ensuring cargo flows."

France's rich history in railway infrastructure offers unparalleled expertise to the Baltic initiative. French companies, having contributed significantly to engineering consulting, construction supervision, and even state-of-the-art control systems, are integral to Rail Baltica's success. Kaspars Vingris, Chairman of The Board of the national implementing body Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, shared, “Our collaboration with French companies is close in various aspects of Rail Baltica implementation. Here at Riga Central Station, Egis Group is a FIDIC engineer. We are learning from our international partners and their experience in high-speed railway infrastructure construction, both as a client and Latvian companies."