Tuesday, 02 May 2017 14:30

Transport as a driver for innovation and regional growth?

Written by  Thomas Erlandson, Ulrike Schütz & Algirdas Šakalys

Connectivity is the theme of the 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. An essential factor in reaching a better connected Baltic Sea region is transport.

“Connect the region” is one of the three objectives of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Policy Area (PA) Transport pursues this goal by improving both internal and external transport links in the region. Recently, PA Transport’s chapter in the EUSBSR Action Plan was revised. One of the three overall objectives of the Policy Area encourages macro-regional transfer of sustainable solutions in passenger and freight transport.

In the 8th EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin on 13-14 June experts including Vice Minister of Transport of Lithuania, Ricardas Degutis, and Minister for Infrastructure and Spatial Planning of Brandenburg, Kathrin Schneider, will tackle the topic of transport in the Baltic Sea region from different angles.


Innovation – a tool contributing to both transport sustainability and regional growth?

Facilitation of a sustainable and efficient transport system in the Baltic Sea Region requires – along with infrastructural investments – innovative measures dwelling on new technologies, planning approaches and administrative procedures. Taking this into account, transport is not an end in itself; it is a crucial precondition for economic, social and environmental development.

“To curb the negative impact of climate change and pollution of our daily environment is a prerequisite for our wellbeing and a prosperous future. It is generally accepted that a sustainable environment is necessary for regional growth in the longer perspective and sustainable transport conditions are a part of this, so consequently this should be a vital objective for the region itself”, states Thomas Erlandson, Coordinator of Policy Area Transport.

The Baltic Sea region is known for its leading role in introducing innovative technological solutions. Greening and digitalization of transport and innovative ways of networking between administrative levels are key measurements for an equal development within the region.


Connecting the region both internally…

The Baltic Sea region is characterized by spatial diversity. The region spreads from vibrant metropolis to far remote areas. The urban nodes function as innovative incubators and high frequented logistic points for freight and passengers. One of the most important future tasks of the region is to relieve the urban nodes to avoid new bottlenecks of freight transport and commuter traffic. Therefore the integration of the more remote regions will strengthen the prosperity and spatial development of the region as a whole.

To connect the remote regions to the urban nodes is not only a purely infrastructural task; it is also related to a steady communication between the metropolitan areas and their surroundings. Determining the common transport requirements and joining forces for a future implementation will speed up the access to financial resources.


and externally

Improvement of transport cooperation with third countries has become an important issue bearing in the mind the growing dependency of the Baltic Sea region’s prosperity on its infrastructural and operational connections with neighbouring and more remote emerging markets.

Furthermore, the increase of transportation volumes in third countries (which, according to researchers and practitioners from business, will grow faster than in EU) and new trade routes to/from Baltic Sea region predispose changes in the traditional movement of freight. This trend also highlights the need for improvement of the interoperability of already existing transport networks and the development of new connections of the European transport corridors and Baltic Sea region transport hubs with third countries.

The necessity to synchronize infrastructure development and support efficient and innovative intermodal transport services along trans-regional and global networks (including new Silk Road branch via Baltic Sea region) requires new instruments for cooperation among business, research and public institutions on international level.

The main current challenges in this area are to achieve a better interoperability between different infrastructures standards and systems, as well as, to remove physical and operational bottlenecks.


Deepening the discussion on further actions and future challenges

Realization of the ambitious goals of the EUSBSR Policy Area Transport requires multi-level dialogue and political guidelines on further actions in improving the internal and external connectivity of the Baltic Sea region. Discussion on innovative transport solutions is also needed to solve the future challenges related to transport in the region.

The plenary session of the EUSBSR Annual Forum provides a platform for the discussion and exchange of views between the high-level speakers and panelists. Keynotes and panel discussion will deepen the dialogue on innovative transport solutions in the Baltic Sea region and experts will give their insights of current ambitions and developments. The plenary session is hoped to inspire joint projects and implementation of new innovative intermodal supply chain solutions along international transport corridors.


Join the plenary session in the 8th EUSBSR Annual Forum on Wednesday 14 June at 15:30!

More about the programme of the Annual Forum and registration here.

More about Policy Area Transport’s work in the EUSBSR Action Plan.

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Read 6978 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 October 2017 15:20