Ports of Stockholm and BPO seek funds to develop cooperation with Ukrainian ports

May 31 2024

Ports of Stockholm and BPO seek funds to develop cooperation with Ukrainian ports

Ports are critical infrastructure in the transportation sector. As gateways for both import and export of goods and raw materials, ports play a crucial role in international trade. In collaboration with partners, Ports of Stockholm is seeking funds through the Swedish Institute's Ukraine Cooperation Program. This is to lay a foundation for the integration of Ukrainian ports into the EU transport network.

Ports of Stockholm, together with the law firm Interlegal, headquartered in Odessa, and the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO), are seeking funding from the Swedish Institute for a preparatory project. The aim is to build cooperation between Sweden and Ukraine to support the integration of Ukrainian ports into the EU transport system.

The project, if it is granted, consists of a number of main activities where, among other things, a needs analysis, knowledge in applying for EU funds for community development and construction and study visits to a Baltic Sea port will be important parts of strengthening the Ukrainian ports' efficiency and conditions for a future strengthened trade.

It feels important that with our organization's expertise and strength in, among other things, port management, logistics and sustainability, be part of supporting the Ukrainian ports' way forward in modernizing and complying with EU standards in the field of transport. I see that this collaboration strengthens Ports of Stockholm's commitment to excellence, sustainability and regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, creating mutual benefits for all parties involved – says Jens Holm, Chair of the Board of Ports of Stockholm.

Before Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukrainian ports handled around 160 million tonnes of cargo and were responsible for around 60 percent of Ukraine's trade turnover. As a result of the war, the port infrastructure in Ukraine is badly damaged. After the war, it will be necessary to rebuild, modernise and integrate Ukrainian ports into the EU transport network.

The project for which the three partners are seeking funding is part of Sweden's co-operation with Ukraine. Through the Swedish Institute, Swedish actors with partners in Ukraine are offered the opportunity to implement projects to support Ukraine's construction, reform work and EU integration within such fields as economic development, trade and democracy.

The integration of Ukrainian ports into the EU transport network is a challenge. In this project, we see an opportunity to take the first steps to start that integration process. With our role as a platform for Baltic Sea ports and our knowledge of the EU regulatory framework, we are able to support the project on issues that Ukrainian ports may face during their integration process into the EU transport network, as well as create a network of contacts between the Ukrainian partners and ports around the Baltic Sea – says Bogdan Ołdakowski, Secretary General of the Baltic Ports Organization.

The project, if funded, will run between November 2024 and October 2025. The total grant is 17,300 EUR.

Ukraine applied for EU membership in February 2022 and was granted EU candidate status in June 2022. In December 2023, EU leaders decided to open accession negotiations. The Ukrainian transport infrastructure and its ports have been included in the EU's newly revised policy for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).