Transport Working Group
Improving accessibility, connection and transport infrastructure is a key area of focus for the Baltic Sea Region.
Regions in the Baltic Sea Area face specific challenges, such as long distances, remoteness, and borders with third counties. Furthermore, most peripheral parts of the Baltic Sea suffer from poor accessibility in terms of few route options, low frequency of services, long travel times and high transport costs.
The CPMR Baltic Sea Commission Transport Working Group (TWG) acts as a platform for cooperation for regions sharing similar challenges. Together, they work to improve connection within the Baltic Sea Area but also with the rest of the EU and third countries.
The TWG’s work is developed in line with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) objective “Connect the Region” which aims to improve transport conditions and connections for people in the region. The TWG’s activities contribute to the implementation of the Action plan of the EUSBSR, including the Policy Area Transport.
Working areas of the Transport Working Group
Within the framework of the EUSBSR, the TWG has defined the following focus areas of work:
- Review of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
The TWG is closely monitoring the review of the CEF regulation after 2020. It makes sure that a Baltic Sea perspective is included in the CPMR work on Transport. Strengthening the role of the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) as the maritime component of the transport system is one priority for the Baltic Sea Region for the future.
- Review of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T)
The TWG provides input into the review of the TEN-T after 2020. As three of the nine priority corridors run through the Baltic Sea Region (the Scandinavian–Mediterranean corridor, the North Sea–Baltic corridor and the Baltic–Adriatic corridor), the TWG formulates positions to design the new corridors framework post-2020.
- State Aid for Regional Airports
The TWG monitors state aid regulation concerning the aviation sector, particularly the General Block Exemption Regulation and the Guidelines on state aids to Airports and Airlines, as they have direct impact on many of our Member Regions.
- Connection to third countries
The TWG works to improve cooperation between the Baltic Sea Region and third countries. Sharing common borders with Russia and Norway, the Baltic Sea Region holds a strategic position. It is crucial that the Baltic Sea Region maintains close cooperation with third countries to fully utilise the development potential of the macro-region and to increase connectivity.
Learn more on the areas of work of the TWG in its Work Plan for 2017-2019.
The TWG feeds into the CPMR activities on Transport. Bringing a Baltic Sea perspective, the TWG Group has contributed to the development of the following CPMR positions since 2015:
- CPMR Accessibility Campaign: Priorities and Timetable – February 2015
- CPMR Response to the Consultation on the mid-term review of the 2011 White Paper on transport – June 2015
- A Baltic Regional Perspective on the implementation of the TEN–T – March 2016
- EU Transport Policy and the maritime peripheries: Findings and short- and medium-term options – November 2016
- Review of the CEF post-2020 principles advocated by the CPMR – March 2017
The TWG is involved in several transnational projects which contribute to the implementation of the EUSBSR.
- NSB CoRe
How do we work
- Collect data and input from members and stakeholders in the transport industry;
- Monitor the political agenda and relevant policy developments on EU and EUSBSR related to transport;
- Formulate policy positions and statements in response to consultations on relevant EU policies and instruments;
- Transfer and exchange of best practice;
- Participate actively in the CPMR Transport Working Group, EUSBSR PA-Transport Steering Committee;
- Serve as a shared platform for project development;
- Draw policy conclusions from relevant projects, disseminate and capitalise results of EU-funded projects;
- Organise thematic events with participation of projects partners and industry stakeholders, e.g. ports, shipping lines, transport operators and infrastructure managers.
Governance of Transport Working Group
The TWG is chaired by Kai Holmberg, Vice-President of the Regional Council of Kymenlaakso.
The Vice-Chairs are Johan Söderling, County Councillor from Region Västerbotten, and Bosse Andersson, Stockholm County Council.
It is composed of 40 members. The full list of members is available on request from the Secretariat.
The TWG meet around twice a year. Each meeting is hosted by Member Region.
The TWG works in close cooperation with the EU institutions, such as DG MOVE and the European Parliament, but also EUSBSR Policy Area Transport, the private sector and key stakeholders on transport.
1st Vice-Chair Mr Johan Söderling
2nd Vice-Chair Mr Bosse Anderson
Stockholm County Council