The Baltic-Adriatic Transport Corridor is an initiative whose primary goal is to strengthen strategic links between countries and regions on the North-South axis by improving their transport accessibility, intensifying transportation and promoting new directions for the movement of people and goods.
The importance of the North-South transport axis, on which there has been invariably lively trade for several hundred years, although difficult to overestimate, has still not been sufficiently appreciated. With Poland’s integration into the EU came the chance to decisively strengthen the rank of existing connections. Decisive for the whole idea was the year 2009, in which initiatives for interregional cooperation undertaken for the realization of the VI Pan-European Transport Corridor gained the desired momentum and dynamics. On October 6, 14 regions representing Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia Austria and Italy signed an agreement for the “immediate realization of the North-South rail corridor” (Gdansk/Gdynia – Warsaw – Brno/Bratislava – Vienna – Bologna); in turn, on December 3, 9 regions representing Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria signed a joint declaration confirming the European and regional importance of the Gdansk-Brno-Vienna highway axis.
Another important date was June 23, 2010 when representatives of 7 Polish voivodeships: Pomeranian, Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Warmian-Masurian, Mazovian, Greater Poland, Łódź and Silesian signed a letter of intent to strengthen interregional cooperation to create development conditions for the Baltic-Adriatic Transport Corridor in Poland. At the same time, the signatories of this agreement expressed the common view that the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor in the foreseeable future may become a key factor in the economic development of Poland and the regions located along its route.
Meanwhile, the culmination of all the efforts of numerous stakeholders to date was the establishment of the Association of Polish Regions of the Baltic-Adriatic Transport Corridor on March 30, 2012.
Among the statutory objectives of SPR KTBA were:
creating and promoting at home and abroad the development zone of the Baltic-Adriatic transport corridor delineated by the course of the A-1 highway and the E-65 and CE-65 railroad lines;
Ensuring inter-regional consistency of strategic and spatial planning in the corridor zone in Poland;
initiating projects for the economic development of the corridor zone, especially in its nodal points (initiating the establishment of logistics centers, intermodal terminals, special economic zones, etc.);
monitoring of ongoing and planned transportation infrastructure investments (point and linear) implemented from public and private sources. The collected material is presented in the annual “Report on the status of work on the construction of linear and point infrastructure in the Baltic-Adriatic transport corridor zone in Poland”,
initiating activities to raise the profile of intermodal transport in the corridor’s impact zone using the Vistula River waterway, rail transport and modern intermodal technologies.
The Board of Directors of the SPR KTBA consists of – President of the Association Ryszard Świlski of the Pomeranian Voivodeship Government, as well as Aleksandra Banasiak of the Silesian Voivodeship Government and Marcin Bugajski of the Lodz Voivodeship Government.
Chairman of the Audit Committee is Leszek Ruszczyk, Deputy Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, while members of the Executive Committee on behalf of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship Self-Government are Tomasz Slawinski and Michal Hackiewicz from the Mazowieckie Regional Planning Office in Warsaw.
The location of the continental part of the Baltic-Adriatic transport corridor covers the area from the ports of Gdynia and Gdansk to the ports of the northern Adriatic, Italy and Slovenia, although branches of the corridor also reach the Aegean and Black Sea basins. The corridor is 1,700 kilometers long, while 55 million people from five EU member states live in the regions it crosses. The Scandinavian part of the corridor, meanwhile, includes a connection from Oslo to Karlskrona. The Swedish part of the corridor has been given the status of “Gdynia-Karlskrona marine highway.”
The Baltic-Adriatic international transport corridor, the filling of which in the territory of Poland is the A1 highway and the E-65 railroad line and the Central Railway Line, is of considerable importance in both national and European terms. The Community institutions gave expression to this fact by placing the Baltic-Adriatic corridor on the list of 30 priority projects of the Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T, and for the second time last October when, together with a section of the Rail Baltica corridor, it was included in the prestigious Corridor No. 1 in the proposal for a modified TEN-T network.
An additional gas pedal of intermodal transport in Poland, including on the north-south axis, will soon become rail transport corridors, which in European nomenclature are called Railway Freight Corridors (RFC) and should be designated in all EU countries by 2015. They will be established on rail lines primarily intended for freight transport. Infrastructure management in the corridors is to be integrated, and maintenance and transport standards unified. Two rail routes are likely to run through Poland, i.e. corridor No. 5: Gdynia – Katowice – Ostrava/Zilina – Bratislava/Vienna – /Clagenfurt – Udine – (Venice Bologna/Ravenna)/Trieste – /Graz – Maribor – Ljubljana – Koper/Trieste, and corridor No. 8: Bremerhaven/Rotterdam/Antwerp – Aachen/Berlin – Warsaw – Terespol/Kovno.