The pan-European transport network – nine future corridors – that will be announced in the framework of the Trans-European Transport Network conference or TEN-T 2013 takes place this week in Tallinn, is the result of intense work over the past three years, reports Postimees.
European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said this with pride in his voice. It is no coincidence that Estonia is the place where more than a thousand high-level European transport officials and state figures, who have been working on the TEN-T, or nine transport corridors project, convened on Oct. 17. The cost of the project is 26 billion euros and includes the Rail Baltica project that has caused passions to flare in Estonia.
Kallas stated that Europe’s wealth is the common internal market, but a rather dispersed transport network is the problem. The fluctuating quality of highways in different states is a problem, while the quality of railways and pan-European ports-internal waterways networks is an even bigger problem.
“In this respect a very big step ahead is made,” said Kallas. “All the corridors cover several states, there are no projects here that only one country would have to pay for.”
While in the previous financing period rails, roads and seaways received 8 billion euros of funds from the EU, the money allocated for the transport sector in 2014-2020 is 26 billion euros.
The Nordic-Baltic corridor passes through Estonia, improving transport connections between Finland, the Baltic States and Poland. The new Rail Baltica railway line, and Via Baltica highway form a new North-South transport network backbone, connecting the Baltic States and creating a bridge with Poland and Central Europe.
Kallas considers cross-border railway and highway networks very important. Also ports, internal waterways, airports. The important transport hubs in Estonia, in the opinion of Europe, include among airports, besides Tallinn’s airport, also Tartu, Parnu, Kuressaare and Kardla. With ports, this includes, in addition to Tallinn also Heltermaa, Kuivastu, Parnu, Paldiski South Port, Rohukula, Sillamae and Virtsu.