Transport and Raw Material in the NSPA on the agenda in the European Parliament

On the 24th April the NSPA and the Bothnian Corridor Group organized a seminar in the European Parliament about raw materials and transport in the northernmost parts of Europe. Hosting the seminar were MEPs Marita Ulvskog and Liisa Jaakonsaari and with keynote speakers from the European Commission, representatives from the NSPA and from the raw material industry, the seminar attracted around 50 participants.

The NSPA and the Bothnian Corridor Group in cooperation with MEP Marita Ulvskog & MEP Liisa Jaakonsaari organized a seminar on raw material and transport in the northernmost parts of Europe on the 24th April in the European Parliament.  With keynote speakers from the European Parliament, the European Commission and representatives from the NSPA region and the industry,  the seminar attracted around 50 participants.

Ms. Marita Ulvskog, MEP, underlined the importance of investments in infrastructure in the north of Europe and also highlighted that Sweden and Finland must make this a priority in the Council.

"I will do my very best to see to it that the TEN-T money is used in the very best way", Ms. Ulvskog said.

Mr. Odd Eriksen, president of Nordland county, raised the issue of the long distances in and within regions of the NSPA - a specific challenge where the Bothnian Corridor plays a significant role in creating a sustainable transport system in the northernmost part of Europe.

"The local and regional business development opportunities are closely connected to the development of the TEN-T" Mr. Eriksen said.

Mr. Pentti Hyttinen, Region Mayor of North Karelia, gave a regional perspective on raw materials, stating the significant role of forest industry and its development in reaching the strategic objectives of the future for the EU.  

"The forest is the green gold of Europe, we have the special expertise in the forest sector of research and science" Mr. Hyttinen said.

Ms. Maria Spiliopoulou-Kaparia,  Head of Unit European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, (Metals, Minerals, Raw Materials) presented the Raw Materials Initiative, which in turn have triggered some member states to shape national raw material strategies. The European Raw Material Strategy is a matter of survival in a globalised world, was the message from Maria Spiliopoulou-Kaparia.

Mr. Lars-Erik Renström, Manager, Corporate Logistics & Transportation, Outokumpu Stainless Oyj and Mr. Lennart Gustavsson, chairman, Georange, gave their perspectives on raw materials and transport stating that the local and regional development is closely connected to sustainable transport.

Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet, director, European Mobility Network, DG Move, emphasized that TEN-T is about focusing infrastructural investments and that cooperation between private and public partners is required to succeed. Mr. Paquet encouraged stakeholders to prepare for the implementation of projects and also emphasized the need for member states to make this a priority at national level.

Ms. Liisa Jaakonsaari, MEP, underlined the seriousness of the matter as regarding the debate on the EU budget, meaning that cutting the EU budget might jeopardize the Connecting Europe Facility.

"Finland and Sweden are eager to cut the EU budget. We will have to see to it that the TEN-T money is not cut away" Ms Jaakonsaari said.

Mr. Mårten Edberg, Bothnian Green Logistic Corridor, concluded the seminar reiterating earlier speakers; it is not only about transporting raw materials from north to south, but about including the northernmost part of the Europe on the maps.

Moderating the seminar was Mr. Stig Nerdal, Transportutvikling AS.

See speakers' presentations:

Mr. Nerdal's presentation

Mr. Hyttinen's presentation

Ms. Spiliopoulou-Kaparia's presentation

Mr. Renström's presentation

Mr. Edberg's presentation

03 Maj 2012