Naples, 21 October 2009
New partnership launched to improve infrastructure in northern Europe
A new initiative called the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics has been launched today with the aim of improving major transport connections in northern Europe. To this end a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by representatives of the European Commission, Norway, Russia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Belarus at a conference on the future of Trans-European transport networks in Naples.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani responsible for transport, said: "The challenges and opportunities of the transport sector are increasingly international, and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics will be a great chance to face them together in the north of Europe. In this context the EU reaches out to its neighbours, paving the way for a fruitful partnership which will keep northern Europe moving."
Åsa Torstensson, Minister of Enterprise, Energy and Communications of Sweden, representing the Presidency added: "Northern Europe is a region rich in natural resources and with a highly developed industrial sector. The long distances within the region as well as to major markets pose a challenge to the transport sector. The Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics provides a highly promising framework for jointly exploring what measures and projects need to be implemented to improve the infrastructure connecting the countries in the region and beyond. "
The Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics aims at improving major transnational transport connections while stimulating sustainable economic growth in the region. In addition it will look at accelerating existing infrastructure projects and removing bottlenecks. One of the first steps by the partnership will be to develop an action plan identifying projects of common interest.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a conference on the future of Trans-European transport networks in Naples organised by the Commission, the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and the Swedish Presidency of the European Union. Apart from exploring ways to create more links with neighbouring regions, the conference will also take stock of the implementation of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) priority projects and reflect on future policy framework.