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Wider Europe: Norway in closer collaboration with EU transportation network

Norway and 26 other neighbouring countries to the EU have indicated priority corridors and projects to a High Level Group in order to be connected to the Trans-European network involving the 25 EU member States.

15/02/2006 :: Norway is represented in the High Level group, which is chaired by former European Commission Vice-President, Loyola de Palacio. The group held a plenary meeting in Brussels recently, where the draft reports were discussed. The aim of the High Level Group is to identify and develop priority connections between major trans-European transport axis and the different neighbouring regions of the European Union. By developing these main axis, the EU will facilitate and stimulate trade between the EU and its neighbours.

Two multimodal transport axis of relevance for Norway, are already indicated in the draft report. Among these are a “Motorway of the Seas”-connection linking the Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The Norwegian interest focuses on the extension of the Motorway of the Sea in western Europe towards Norway. The Norwegian proposal is to link an excisting project called The Northern Maritime Corridor (NMC) to the EU transport axis.

The second axis of interest for Norway in a longer term, is the so-called Northern Axis. This connects Norway and the northern EU with Russia and beyond. This transport axis has for several years been an ongoing project for Norwegian governments, through The North East West Transport Corridor (N.E.W). This corridor already has a railway connection from the Atlantic port of Narvik through the Nordic countries to Russia and beyond.

The main ideas of both projects are to relieve further congestion on central European road and rail networks by leading these flows to less congested rail and sea corridors in the northern part of Europe.

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Photo: European Commission