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Brussels, 8 June 2010

Creation of a secretariat for the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics

The eleven countries belonging to the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) have today endorsed setting up a secretariat for the partnership in the framework of the TEN-T Days conference in Zaragoza, Spain. Formal agreement for setting up a secretariat for the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) has been signed by seven partners1 while the remaining four partners2 have adopted a declaration of intent while their internal proceedings are pending, which will allow them to join the signing parties in the coming months.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, is responsible for transport, said: "This is an important milestone in the strengthening of the transport market in an area at the crossroads of West and East, North and South. I am glad to see the willingness of the EU and non-EU partners to plan tomorrow's transport system in a regional perspective, rather than in a national one."

The Commission, which is not formally part of the secretariat, played the role of facilitator in supporting NDPTL partners to reach an agreement to allow the secretariat to be in place already from 1 January 2011. The secretariat will be hosted by the Helsinki-based Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), which will share its know-how in financing projects with the partners.

Vice-President Kallas added: "It is now time to identify the projects that will form the backbone of the transport system in that region. Projects should focus not only on physical infrastructure, but a lot of improvement can take place through better coordination among transport policies, development of logistical solutions, and fostering cooperation in intelligent transport modes."

Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics

The partnership consists of Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belorussia and Norway. During the November 2006 summit, these countries asked senior officials to examine the desirability of a Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics.

After a series of intensive talks, the ministers of these countries agreed in October 2008 to establish the partnership on the basis of the recommendations made by an ad hoc working group. The ministers agreed to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to govern the NDPTL. The signature of the MoU took place in the margins of the TEN-T conference in Naples on 21 October 2009. The steering committee of the NDPTL met for the first time on 8 December 2009 in Stockholm. It was decided at that occasion that Lithuania will chair the steering committee during the year 2010. Following the endorsement of the agreement on the NDPTL secretariat, the financing principles of such a secretariat will have to be set and agreed by the partners by the end of 2010.

1 :

Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway.

2 :

Poland, Finland, Russia, Belorussia

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