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Next European Parliament could change Rail Baltica project’s financing aspects

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The financing aspects of Rail Baltica project could be changed or influenced by the next European Parliament, which may turn out rather euro-sceptical, says TEN-T network corridor coordinator Katerina Trautmane.

«This year will be very important for the project. We cannot say if we’ve stopper or if we could return to this matter later. Baltic States together with Poland and Finland have to work to demonstrate political will to implement the project,» says Trautmane.
 

When asked if there are any developments in Europe that could influence Rail Baltica project’s financing, the coordinator said budget discussions are always difficult. «This time everything will pass under Brexit context. I would say it is nothing new, because Britain’s exit from the European Union is something to keep in mind. We know the costs, and we will have to cover them,» explains Trautmane.
 

«There will also be a new European Parliament. It is possible the new parliament may turn out euro-sceptical, which could change financing aspects. It will be a political matter, which is why we have to be as well-prepared as possible,» says the coordinator.
 

She says the European Commission is ready, and there is support for Rail Baltica from all countries part of the corridor – Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.
 

«We have another country that wants to be part of the corridor – Luxembourg. It is very interesting how this corridor has become very attractive,» says Trautmane.
 

When asked how Rail Baltica project looks in comparison with other TEN-T projects, Trautmane said «some European countries glance at Rail Baltica project with some envy».
 

«Many have told me that it is a privileged project. European Commission is deeply involved with Rail Baltica project’s implementation because it is the only project in Europe’s east with such importance tied to it. This is why we should be consequent. Baltic States should be connected with Europe’s railway network. If we want to be the new hub for freight – from China, from Russia, from other neighbouring countries – this is a way to involve Baltic States, Poland and Finland in the game,» says Trautmane.
 

She is happy Finland will soon decide on involvement in the joint company as a partner. Trautmane also said the decision will be made soon. This means the project will have four partners and major involvement from Poland.

BNN/LETA

08-01-2019
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