Tallinn holds the second “Rail Baltica” Global Forum

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2018 04 10

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On April 10-11 the second “Rail Baltica” Global Forum is taking place in Tallinn (Estonia), attended by transport ministers of the Baltic states, high representatives of Polish, Finnish and Swedish ministries of transport, members of the European Commission and the European Parliament. The members of the forum will overview the progress of the project, the long-term commitments of the countries, and the significance of “Rail Baltica” for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T. Lithuania is represented by Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis.

‘This year we are meeting in the traditional Rail Baltica forum at a crucial time – the European Commission is about to announce a proposal for the European Union budget for the 2021–2027 financial period, which is of particular importance for the implementation of the “Rail Baltica” project. Proper EU funding for this project is vital, therefore we will once again emphasise at the very highest level the importance of the project for the Baltic region and the EU, the economies and citizens of all the countries involved’, said Mr Masiulis, Minister of Transport and Communications.

The Global Forum will be opened by Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, and Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, will deliver her message via video bridge. On the first day of the forum, representatives of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden will meet in a ministerial panel discussion “North Sea–Baltic TEN-T Corridor – its Role and Impact on the North Eastern European Transport Sector”. Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Mr Masiulis will also emphasise the importance of the Vilnius–Kaunas connection to the “Rail Baltica” project and Europe.

The second day of the forum is dedicated to inform potential suppliers of the project – global construction, material supply, service companies – on upcoming project tenders and procurements. The event, in which up to 500 participants from around the world are expected, will feature the presentation of “Rail Baltica” design guidelines, key design tenders and a comprehensive procurement plan of the project for 2018. The participating companies will have the networking opportunity to potentially forge allies for the project.

A new keynote of the “Rail Baltica” forum is military mobility requirements. A few weeks ago the EU launched an action plan on military mobility, with the aim of developing an appropriate infrastructure suitable for rapid military response in the event of a threat. For the Baltic region this is especially important for geopolitical reasons. The “Rail Baltica” project would also be subject to these military mobility requirements. Now, when the design of a new line is being started, it is a proper time to also take into account the technical requirements of military mobility.

The first “Rail Baltica” Global Forum was held in Riga (Latvia) in April 2017. In 2019, this forum is to be held in Lithuania.