New TEN-T Agreement brings status changes for Baltic ports

Jan 30 2024

New TEN-T Agreement brings status changes for Baltic ports

In December the European Commission welcomed the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on the regulation underpinning the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). New TEN-T policy includes stronger efforts to increase the use of more sustainable forms of transport and to improve multimodality –
the practice of combining transport modes for a single journey – within the European transport system. We had a closer look at the new TEN-T maps and noticed some substantial changes in the Baltic countries.

Mandatory port-inclusive targets are:

  • The number of transhipment terminals must develop in line with the current and expected traffic flows and the needs of the sector. Equally handling capacity at freight terminals must improve. This, as well as allowing the circulation of 740m trains across the network, will help shift more freight onto more sustainable transport modes and give a push to Europe’s combined transport sector (the use of combinations such as rail-road to move freight).
  • All 430 major cities along the TEN-T network will have to develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans to promote zero and low emission mobility.
  • The European Maritime Space aims to integrate the maritime space with other transport modes efficiently, viably and sustainably. For this purpose, short-sea shipping routes will be upgraded and new ones will be created, while maritime ports will be further developed as well as their hinterland connections.

In addition, transport links with neighbouring third countries will be improved by integrating Ukraine, Moldova as well as the six Western Balkan partners into the newly established European Transport Corridors. One of them is the new corridor which will connect from the north: Finland, Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, some parts of Ukraine and reaches Greece in the south.

To assure the timely completion of the network – by 2030 for the core network, 2040 for the extended core network, and 2050 for the comprehensive network – this agreement also includes better governance, with for instance implementing acts for the main cross-border sections and other specific national sections along the nine European Transport Corridors. This, together with greater alignment between national transport and investment plans and TEN-T objectives, will ensure coherence when priorities are set for infrastructure and investment.

Changes in maritime ports (inland ports not included)

 According to presented and agreed core and comprehensive network, the number of ports in the Baltic Sea has changed its status.

The largest change is noticed in Denmark, where 9 comprehensive ports have disappeared from the comprehensive network. In Germany 4 comprehensive ports appeared, and 2 ports (Puttgarden and Bensersiel) disappeared. The Port of Oulu in Finland has been upgraded to core status. Port of Piteå in Sweden has become a comprehensive port. Moreover, a new name Port of Nynäshamn-Stockholm (including Port of Norvik) appeared in the comprehensive network in Sweden.

The Baltic Ports Organization is in favour of the co-legislators’ decision to include energy ports in Europe’s transport network (TEN-T) as the port’s position in the network will now be assessed not only on the basis of tonnage, but also on its contribution to the energy transition.

European ports, including the Baltic ports, play a key role in Europe's energy transformation and security of energy supplies. We therefore have an intensive road ahead of us to ensure adequate resources in terms of transport, infrastructure, connections, storage and new supply chains to make new energy sources our goal and reality.

We are even more pleased with the new arrangements and efforts of the European Commission to provide ports with appropriate conditions to fulfill this new important mission.