Connecting Europe Express in October 2021

Published 24. September 2021

The Ministry for Science and Ports, Free and Hanseatic City of Bremen had the opportunity to participate in the Connecting Europe Express journey during the Year of the Rail. Multi-Level-Governance stakeholders were present and views were exchanged. As it can be seen in multiple press releases across the stakeholder groups, there has been lots achieved - but there is also a lot of room for improvement.

What can be said, is that there needs to be a better rail-port connectivity to support the European Green Deal objectives. The European Year of Rail should be used to highlight this and the fact that most ports lie on nodes facing increased traffic. Further utilisation of railway transport will help to a move to greener (inter)modal transport solutions and at the same time help to reduce the pressure on important infrastructure nodes such as ports.

European co-finance is essential to stem the infrastructure investments and programmes such as the Interreg North Sea Region Programme are a great place to pilot actions and support the bigger infrastructure investments, via programmes such as CEF II, with value adding activities and promotion of greener transport modes such as rail.

As such, we are very happy that we were able to have our extension approved and the Hamburg Port Authority on board to work on a pilot supporting the findings of the Connecting Europe Express from an intermodal and digital perspective. Smart intermodality and smart involvement are a way of promoting rail as transport mode and to increase the modal shift accordingly.