Members of the European Parliament assess Lithuania’s Rail Baltica progress
During a visit in Lithuania, the members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism have praised the progress achieved by Lithuania in the implementation of the Rail Baltica project. “The project is making good progress in Lithuania,” concluded the head of the delegation Wim van de Camp.
Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications says the delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism yesterday in Vilnius after visiting Tallinn, where the representatives of the European Parliament were also interested in the implementation of the Rail Baltica project. After comparing the achievements of the two countries in the project, the head of the delegation admired Lithuania’s progress.
According to Wim van de Camp, the Rail Baltica project, which is part of a major programme aimed at enhancing the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), is an important connection linking the Baltic States with other EU countries.
Considering the importance of the project, EU funds were allocated for the current 2014-2020 financial period. So, the Baltic States must proceed with their intense work and coordinate their actions in order to secure further EU funding beyond 2020.
“The success of the Rail Baltica project and a possibility to implement it by 2025 will highly depend on EU funding beyond 2020, and to secure it we hold discussions with the European Parliament and the European Commission. We also seek to get EU funding for building a rail connection between Vilnius and Kaunas, which is part of Rail Baltica. At the moment we smoothly proceed with the implementation of the Rail Baltica project – we have achieved the biggest progress compared to other Baltic States and are leading the way, and we maintain good relations with neighbouring countries,” said Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis.
In the opinion of the members of the European Parliament, Rail Baltica will help to achieve the EU’s ambition to shift a major part of freight transport from road to rail. This will help to lower freight transport costs and contribute to road safety and environmental protection. These aspects motivate the European Parliament to enhance support for the project.