EU Transport Policy Initiatives for the Baltic Rim EITs – A Critical Assessment
The European Union’s task of providing Trans-European Networks (TENs) in transportation, communications and energy transmission is not confined to internal networks in the EU. Since 1994 this task also comprises the economies in transition (EIT) in Central and Eastern Europe that have applied for EU membership. The purpose of this paper is to assess the relative importance of the various measures taken in the course of the TEN initiative for economic development of the EIT on the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea with a view at the specific transport related needs of the EIT. "Software" problems (both from the sphere of regulatory regimes and from administrative procedures) seem to be the most pressing obstacles to transport and trade in the Baltic Rim as compared to „hardware“ problems. The paper discusses the pros and cons of the various TEN components in transport from the perspective of fiscal federalism and of regional development aid for the EIT. Furthermore it refers to issues of modal split, in particular with respect to Russia (for which the Baltic Rim is an important transit point), and to intermodal competition between land transport and the Baltic sea lane.