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Published 8 Jun, 2016

TENTacle partners kick-off the central border Scandinavian case

The Värmland-Østfold Border Council which is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministries is together with the other Nordic border councils very much concerned about the lack of a comprehensive Nordic transport strategy and the lack of competitive and sustainable transport connections between the Nordic cities. This concern was strengthened by the appearance of the “missing link” between Oslo and Stockholm at the Ten-T core network map.

On 23 May 2016 the TENTacle partners met in order to launch the central border scandinavian part of the project. This borderland pilot case within TENTacle will deliver a growth and development strategy for the Central Scandinavia borderland with good connections to the TEN-T core network.

The coordination meeting was organized together with the yearly conference of the border committee. The main purpose of the kick-off was to present the project to the members of the committee and invited people like supporters and sponsors. To accomplish this Mathias Roos from the lead partner, Region Blekinge, held a presentation of the project as a whole. Björn Hasselgren, project partner Trafikverket, supplemented the picture by presenting the TENTacle macro-regional dimension. Especially he focused on the learning side of the project and the importance of giving concrete recommendations to the sponsors and supporters.

Alf Johansen and Leif Lendrup presented the two subprojects in the borderland effort. One explicit opinion from the audience pressed the immense importance of drawing the political actors out in the air.

A highly interesting part of the conference was the presentation from Jörg Westermann of his newly released investigation of the Oslo-Stockholm link. His economic results look far more attractive than those hitherto presented. Moreover he showed that rebuilding old railways is more costly than building new ones in most cases.

The kick-off closed with presentations from two regions, Örebro and Västerås both in the Oslo-Stockholm line. The final discussion showed two main sides of the opinions, do something now or do something longlasting. The problem seemed to be the choice between rational decisions and political realities.

The conference concluded that whatever solutions that will be actual in the end, the subject is crucial for the development of the regions involved. For some it looks like a question of survival.

- Leif Lendrup and Urban Hermansson, TransNorden Sweden