In 2006 the Federal Ministers of Transport and Infrastructure of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Italy signed a letter of intent to conjointly develop the Baltic-Adriatic Transport Corridor. This included the extension of the existing Pan-European Transport Corridor VI from Gdansk, Warsaw, Katowice, Zilina with branches to Poznan and Breclav/Brno and its South-Western extension to Bratislava/Vienna, Graz, Klagenfurt, Udine, Trieste/Venice and Bologna.
The favourable economic development of the Baltic States and the central and eastern European countries has resulted in the Danzig–Warsaw–Vienna section being declared a Priority Project (PP23) within the TEN-T policy. The states bordering are endeavouring to ensure, in the context of the TEN (Trans European Networks) revisions in 2009/2010, that the high capacity railway which starts in Poland is connected to Upper Italy. The five partner countries will cooperate in terms of an efficient and environment-friendly North-South interconnection of Central Europe considering the EU (eastern) enlargement and the great importance of a close cooperation in the development of the axis.
The project will contribute to the improvement of the economic development along the axis based on the best possible integration of corresponding markets and a balanced development (5 countries) in terms of economic and related ecological impacts of transport. It will be given top priority to the shift from road to rail transport mode and the efficient development and use of environment-friendly rail transport means.
CENTRAL EUROPE project Baltic-Adriatic Transport Cooperation (BATCo) is dedicated to support the technical, environmental and economic development of the Baltic-Adriatic Axis – the railway axis connecting the Baltic with the North-Adriatic sea basis – running through 5 European Member states and therefore connecting more than 40 million inhabitants.
A major step to reach the overall goal – the inclusion of the Baltic-Adriatic Axis to the new core network of the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T), was made in October 2011, when EU Transport Commissioner Mr. Siim Kallas presented the proposal for the core network which included the Baltic-Adriatic Axis extended by Rail Baltica as the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor. The political backing for the Commission’s proposal on the core network given by the European Transport Ministers in late March 2012 was a further significant milestone and a valuation of the work carried out in BATCo since the start of the operation in March 2010. The speech held by Carinthian Governor Mr. Gerhard Doerfler in the course of Open Days 2010 in Brussels clearly was a first major step in making BATCo visible to the broad public and in particular to decision makers coming from the regions along the Baltic-Adriatic Axis (BAA). Since the start of BATCo the partnership consisting of 18 partners has made major achievements serving as a basis for future developments and decision-making processes in order to setup the Baltic-Adriatic as one of the most powerful transnational transport axes of the European Union until 2030.
For setting-up an axis-wide Transport Model, serving as the basis for the calculation of different transport related scenarios & measures and for the establishment of an Environmental Impact Model which will map the negative impacts on the environment caused by road transport, partners collected and evaluated the latest transport data.
Major progress has also been made with the finalisation of the concept for upgrading logistics centres to “Transnational Logistics Centre Incubators” which, when institutionalised will support SME’s in the partner regions along the Baltic-Adriatic Axis. In order to set up a Transnational Business Cooperation Alliance. The partnership has extended and upgraded the 2nd draft of the Business Cooperation Model since summer 2010 and determined potential Transnational Cooperation Points in the regions along the BAA. The collection of Letters of Support from the private sector was quite successful as 250 stakeholders have committed themselves to support the development of the Baltic-Adriatic Axis.