28 / 04 / 2023

The board of the Kvarken Council EGTC pursues important traffic and infrastructure issues

The Kvarken Council’s board can appoint necessary committees within the framework of the Kvarken Council's activities, and the first committee appointed is the working committee for traffic and infrastructure. The group has already visited the Parliament of Finland and met with representatives from, among others, the Ministry of the Environment in Finland, the Ministry of Defence in Finland, and the Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI.

The Kvarken Council’s board considered that a working committee for traffic and infrastructure issues is necessary because there are many important issues related to traffic and infrastructure in the region, and because these issues are central to the region’s development. Over the years, the Kvarken Council has conducted and will continue to conduct relevant projects in this sector. 

– This working method has been put into use in order to increase the “drive” in these important issues and to engage politicians and civil servants to establish the issues at all levels, says Hans Lindberg, Municipal Commissioner of Umeå Municipality, the Kvarken Council’s board member, and chairman of the working committee for traffic and infrastructure. 

In December 2022, the working committee visited the Parliament of Finland, where they had meetings with representatives from the Ministry of the Environment in Finland, the Ministry of Defence in Finland, the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency, and the Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI. The purpose of these meetings was to investigate their views on factors that should be considered when a new application for an implementation study about a fixed link across the Kvarken strait is planned. 

– Northern Europe is in a completely new geopolitical situation due to the terrible war that is happening nearby and as a result of the NATO membership for Finland, and hopefully soon also for Sweden. This undeniably affects all issues related to accessibility, transport, emergency supply, and military mobility. Therefore, the discussions were fruitful during our meeting in Helsinki and the discussions are continuing, says Mathias Lindström, Director of the Kvarken Council.

More working committees will be appointed 

Several equivalent working committees will be appointed in the future. The working committees must, within their respective work areas, be responsible for the preparatory work that the Kvarken Council’s board needs. The chairman and vice-chairman of the committees are appointed by the board and must, together with the Kvarken Council’s Director or Development Manager, continuously inform the board about the committees’ work. 

These working methods strengths are a strong commitment from the board in the everyday work, as well as the fact that you can invite private actors and non-members to participate in the working committees, in cases where it serves the purpose of the group. This leads to a stronger regional establishment over a wider field in central issues. 

The working committee for traffic and infrastructure issues consists of Hans Lindberg (chairman), Anna-Kaisa Pusa (vice-chairman), Joakim Strand, Mikko Savola, Åsa Ågren Wikström, and Tomas Mörtsell. The group will continue the work that they have done to develop an application for a more detailed implementation project for a fixed link, and at the same time, keep central actors in the area informed. The group has also worked on an application for a market survey for sustainable aviation in the region and has been involved in the work of being included in a larger partnership with the Barents region regarding traffic and logistics issues in the northern part of our region.