Johan Lindblad, senior advisor at the Nordic Council, expressed his view on the E12 project in its final conference. He was particularly pleased with the opportunity of now together exerting more pressure on policy-makers with respect to cross-border infrastructure in the Nordic countries.
E12 Atlantica Transport has cooperated with several organizations in order to enhance cross-border work regarding the infrastructure in Nordic countries. The Nordic Council has highlighted the importance of this issue in several occasions. The Committee for Growth and Development, for instance, gave its recommendations for Nordic transport policy on 24th January, 2018.
– The response that the Nordic Council has received on these recommendations to the governments in the Nordic countries, has clearly shown that the governments do not have any structures or ideas for a more strategic cross-border transport cooperation. It took us two years to achieve a joint meeting with the Nordic transport ministers in the autumn 2016. All the ministers then took a positive stand on intensifying cooperation between the authorities – something that also the E12 project contributed to, Mr Lindblad says.
The E12 Atlantica Transport project has shed light, in more concrete terms, on the similarities and differences between the countries and thanks to the background material made available, the project partners can now together with the Nordic Council exert more pressure on the policy-makers.
– We know that the time from an idea to concrete results is long in infrastructure issues, and it is now high time to increase the pressure on national governments. The national traffic authorities must get concrete orders for cross-border cooperation, Mr Lindblad says.
On 10th April, 2018, the Nordic Council is expected to adopt a recommendation to the Nordic governments, covering fifteen concrete measures. Thereafter, the governments will have twelve weeks to respond to the recommendations.
– After that we can also demand a new meeting with the transport ministers if we deem it necessary. It will be exciting to see where this leads, Mr Lindblad continues.
Many of the items on the recommendation list coincide with the measures suggested by the E12 project, for instance setting up a new Nordic Council transport committee. The previous committee was laid down in 2005 – apparently for no reason.
– The authorities now need to get political mandate and, therefore, it is crucial to identify exactly what is required and needed. That is why I am hoping for a continued good dialogue between all the involved parties despite the project now coming to an end. The established networks are absolutely decisive for the continuation.
– E12 Atlantica Transport is a superb project with concrete outcome, and thanks to a little bit of luck as well as good coordination and determination, it has coincided with the work carried out by the Nordic Council regarding the same issue, Mr Lindblad concludes.
Text and photo: Anna Sand
E12 Atlantica Transport – The project is a cross-border cooperation between partners in Finland, Sweden and Norway along the E12, focusing on development of a functional multi-modal transport route for goods and passengers, joint strategies for cross-border planning and future cooperation structures.
E12 Atlantica Transport partners
Kvarken Council (Lead part, FI), MidtSkandia (NO), Blå Vägen (SE) Region Västerbotten (SE), Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (FI), Nordland fylkeskommune (NO) Vaasa Regional Development Company VASEK (FI), Umeå Municipality (SE), Vännäs Municipality (SE), Vindeln Municipality (SE), Lycksele Municipality (SE), Storuman Municipality (SE), Infrastruktur i Umeå AB INAB (SE), Rana Utviklingsselskap AS (NO), Rana Municipality (NO), Polarsirkelen Lufthavnutvikling (NO), Port of Mo i Rana (NO), Mo Industripark AS (NO), Alastahaug havnevesen KF (NO), Helgeland Havn IKS (NO)