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European countries initiate the creation of transport corridors within the expansion of the TEN-T network. What can we expect?

European countries initiate the creation of transport corridors within the expansion of the TEN-T network. What can we expect?
photo: Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland/European countries initiate the creation of transport corridors within the expansion of the TEN-T network. What can we expect?
10 / 06 / 2022

Poland, together with the 3Seas, as well as Moldova and Ukraine, is seeking a review of the Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T in the context of the proposal to create the Baltic-Black-Aegean Corridor.

The countries are striving to include the southern road and railroad corridors in the TEN-T network development with EU co-financing.

"For too long, we have been dependent on east-west connections. Today, it turns out that they are not sufficient. We must be more active and strive to shape the TEN-T network so that it meets the new challenges," stressed Julius Skačkauskas, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania.

The Minister of Transport and Communications of Bulgaria, Nikolay Sabev, pointed out that the redefinition of the corridors of the TEN-T network is necessary for the present situation. "We are still at a low level in terms of north-south connectivity. It became particularly evident after the outbreak of the war," he said. "We should build five new bridges on the Danube, on the border with Romania. We are taking steps in this direction. It is necessary so that we can talk about a better connection between the north and the south of Europe," Sabev added.

Meanwhile, Romanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Adrian Foghiș, pointed to the economic benefits of infrastructure expansion. "The expansion of north-south transport routes is among our strategic projects," Foghiș assured. He also pointed to Moldova as a country whose role in building coherent connections in this part of Europe is very important.

"In the new geopolitical situation, it turns out that Moldova is an important partner in talks on the development of transport," emphasized Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova, Minister of Transport of the country, Spînu Andrei. He also reminded us that the transit of goods from Ukraine to the countries of the European Union is not possible without the participation of Moldova, which is why the development of cooperation between Moldova and the countries of the Triple Ring is necessary.

"Along the eastern border of Poland, which is also the eastern border of NATO and the European Union, we are building the Via Carpatia route. The initiative to build this route, which will eventually connect the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, was put forward in 2006 by Polish President Lech Kaczyński. Construction of this road between Lublin and Rzeszow has just been completed. The Via Carpatia route itself is called the transport spine of the 3Seas," stressed the Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk.

Via Carpatia road route should be complemented by Rail Carpatia corridor. "We must do everything so that they are not divided by unrealized fragments. It is a question of development,  as well as of safety," added Adamczyk. "We hope that in the Baltic states the preparation and implementation of Rail Baltica will become as efficient as in Poland," said Adamczyk.

Roads for today, roads for tomorrow

The road system reflects the current needs of the economy. In 2020, the value of Polish trade exceeded USD 530 billion, of which Germany's share in imports reached 22 percent and in exports 29 percent.

CEE countries accounted for 6 percent each in Polish imports and exports, and their share has been declining for decades. In trade with EU countries, the share of Lithuania, for example, amounted to 12 percent in imports and 2 percent in exports in 2020. For Romania, these percentages were (respectively) 1.7 and 2.8.

The construction of automobile and railroad roads in the north-south corridor will enable economic activation of the region and will facilitate the development of local companies in the neighboring markets.

Meetings on financing new corridors were held on 7 June in Lublin during the 3Seas Local Government Congress.