CEF support to North Sea-Baltic Corridor - May 2020
CEF support to North Sea-Baltic Corridor - April 2018
The North Sea-Baltic corridor is multimodal and connects the Baltic Sea region with the countries of the North Sea region, improving the accessibility of the northern Member States and the connection between the northwest and the northeast of the European Union. The corridor passes through Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern Germany, Poland and then north through the Baltic States. Since its extension in 2021, the whole of Finland and the northern part of Sweden are part of the corridor and a section in Poland up to the border with Ukraine. As since its extension, the North Sea-Baltic Corridor now consists of 8828 km of railways, 6934 km of roads and 2839 km of inland waterways.
The overall objective is to develop and complete a competitive and interoperable trans-European transport network at the highest standards, to connect the regions along the corridor, to accelerate the green transition in the transport sector, and to tap into the economic potential of the region. The main instrument to implement the NSB Corridor objectives are transport infrastructure projects, including roads, railways, and inland waterways. The corridor’s most significant project is Rail Baltica, a European standard gauge railway connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Poland.
In July 2022 the European Commission proposed to extend the corridor further, also to Ukraine. The co-legislators, i.e. the European Parliament and the Council, are still working on the proposal.
Main bottlenecks and missing links
One of the most flagrant gaps in the corridor concerns the track gauge. Along the western and central parts of the corridor, the gauge is 1435 mm but in the Baltic states it is 1520 mm and in Finland 1524 mm. Rail Baltica will change close this gap on the NSB Corridor in the Baltic States, but for Finland where no changes to the track gauge are planned.
Following the European agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% until 2030, and in line with the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy the NSB Corridor should be an accelerator for the green transition. The provision of alternative fuel sources and charging stations is part of this challenge especially considering the need to ensure alternative fuels not only for private cars but also for trucks and trains. In addition, the NSB Corridor need to consider climate change adaptation measures to make the corridor more resilient in the face of extreme weather events.
Considering the high number of urban nodes on the NSB Corridor and their contribution to the corridor’s economic potential one of the priorities is their further development. New comprehensive initiatives for modal shift and multi-modal transport planning are required.
Progress has been made towards the compliance with TEN-T requirements and realising the economic, social, and territorial cohesion potential of the NSB Corridor. Many projects were completed for all transport modes. For instance, twin-port project in Finland and Estonia which improves the traffic between Helsinki West Harbour and Tallinn Old Port; the dredging project in port of Klaipeda (Lithuania); rail and road projects in Poland; several road projects in Germany ensuring safe parking spaces and removing bottlenecks; rail projects in Germany, the construction of the new IJmuiden Sealock and upgrade of Eefde locks in The Netherlands, and road projects in Belgium. The inland waterways on the corridor already meet nearly all requirements for 2030. Overall, there is good progress towards the objectives of the NSB Corridor.
CEF: Pre-identified projects
European Coordinator for the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor, Ms Catherine Trautmann
Ms Catherine Trautmann was born on 15 January 1951, in Strasbourg, France. She was appointed European Coordinator for the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor on 29 October 2014. Ms Trautmann studied in Strasbourg, obtaining a Master's degree in Protestant Theology at the Protestant Theology Faculty of the University of Strasbourg. She holds a number of distinctions including:
- Knight of the Legion of Honour
- Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters
- Honorary Doctorate, University of Leicester
2009-2014: President of the French Socialist Delegation in the European Parliament
2008-x: Chair of the Port of Strasbourg
1989-1997, 2004-2014: Member of the European Parliament
1997-2000: Minister for Culture and Communication
1989-1997: Mayor of Strasbourg and Chairwoman of the Strasbourg Urban Community
1988-1989: Chairwoman of the National Task Force on Drug Addiction
1988: State Secretary for the Elderly and Disabled
1986-1988: Member of the National Assembly for Bas-Rhin
1983: Member of Strasbourg Municipal Council
Member of Strasbourg Municipal Council (since 1983)
Vice chair of Eurometropole (Since 2008)
Ms Catherine Trautmann, European Coordinator
To contact Ms Trautmann, please use the advisor email below
Mr Jan Steinkohl, Adviser of the European Coordinator
Jan [dot] Steinkohlec [dot] europa [dot] eu (Jan[dot]Steinkohl[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
North Sea-Baltic CNC / TEN-T
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport
Rue de Mot 28