TransBaltic was a strategic BSR-wide project carried out by regional authorities, transport and logistics-related research institutions, transport operators, logistics associations and pan-Baltic networks. The partnership of 20 organisations was backed up by further 31 entities, including several national transport ministries around the Baltic Sea.
TransBaltic addressed two issues of common concern for the BSR, namely: inward oriented transport solutions in individual Baltic Sea countries and fast growing freight volumes - mainly in the road transport. As diagnosed in the BSR Programme, inefficient transnational components make the transport networks and logistic patterns of the countries not compatible and not building a consistent transport system in the area. Such transport deficiencies are regarded by enterprises and transport operators as one of the most prominent barriers to economic prosperity and growth in the BSR.
Further, increasing transport flows across the BSR call for incentives how to turn the opportunity of enhancing the BSR gateway function in serving these flows into the strength. Among them shall be practical solutions, which on one hand contribute to a better transport co-modality, with more integrated road, rail and sea infrastructures, but on the other - to stimulate sustainable regional development.
The overall project objective was to provide regional level incentives to facilitate a sustainable multimodal transport system in the BSR, by means of joint transport development measures and jointly implemented business concepts. This was addressed in two contexts.
The first context relates to intergovernmental actions taken within the framework of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy (Priority Area Transport) to harmonise national infrastructure planning within the BSR.
The regional level stakeholders saw a need to complement them with measures, which apart from transport intermodality and interoperability would also stimulate the sustainable regional growth and territorial cohesion.
The second context is associated with the external accessibility of the BSR. The project aspired to work out preparedness measures for the increasing intercontinental transport flows across the BSR and well as the flows between the BSR and other European macroregions (e.g. Mediterranean area). This aspect was perceived as so far not adequately addressed by EU, national and regional transport policies.
As a departure point, TransBaltic took up outcomes of completed transnational transport projects in the BSR and past pan-Baltic initiatives, but refreshed them, structured into a consistent framework and upgraded with some pilot business actions.
TransBaltic managed to: create a recognisable brand as a strategic macroregional project; communicate new knowledge and ideas how to develop a sustainable multimodal transport system in the BSR; and test green transport solutions.
The project was recognised as:
• implementation tool for the EU Baltic Sea Strategy (part of flagship in PA Transport)
• one of the officially acclaimed initiatives in the EU green transport policy area
• animator of umbrella cooperation between green transport projects and pan-Baltic transport development initiatives
• meeting place for debating transport policy challenges in the BSR
• testbed for business solutions in greening the transport.
TransBaltic was cited as a good example of working with multilevel governance issues (cf. BDF State of the Region Report 2011). It was also presented as a best practice case in strategic communication and lobbying (with a motto: CONNECT-INSPIRE-SHOW NEW HORIZONS) at the BSR Programme communication seminar.
The main outputs include:
• TransBaltic Policy Reports 2010 and 2011, with a set of BSR transport and territorial development scenarios in 2030 and impact analysis of future transcontinental freight flows on transport patterns in the BSR
• almost 40 thematic reports on transport and logistics issues of transnational relevance
• a notion of a network of green multimodal transport corridors in the BSR as a component of the transport system and important factor for territorial cohesion – induced to the EU Baltic Sea Strategy Action Plan in 2012
• BSR transport blueprints with generalised results of tested business concepts in transport and logistics - for replication in and outside the BSR by consortia of public authorities and business actors
• The Macroregional Transport Action Plan (MTAP).
The MTAP is a novel achievement. Prepared together by TransBaltic and the umbrella projects, it is not a sum of domestic transport priorities but contains very detailed policy actions,
needed to create better interfaces between national transport networks and to make the BSR transport system more resilient to future changes. It is agreed to be a living document that will be systematically updated and extended by the ongoing projects – within the framework of the transport cluster under the BSR Programme.
The MTAP is primarily addressed to the policymakers to serve as a pro-active and future-oriented policy support instrument. Created by the regions, it complements the two intergovernmental initiatives of similar kind - the Baltic Transport Outlook and the NORDIM study (decision-support basis for the NDPTL).
The follow-up project – BSR TransGovernance – will attempt to streamline them towards a harmonised national/regional perspective.
Furthermore, some specific stakeholders declared a will to use and further develop TransBaltic results - e.g. in task 5.1 or 5.5. This work may also continue within the framework of the TransBaltic extension stage.