STRING highlights cross-border infrastructure in a geopolitically shifting landscape

Apr 17, 2024 | Infrastructure, Fixed Links

Civilian and military needs for infrastructure go hand in hand and enhanced cross-border infrastructure is needed to fulfil Sweden’s new NATO requirements, said Norwegian NATO delegation representative Per Kristen Brekke at the STRING event during Connecting Europe Days in Brussels.

The recent geopolitical shifts, including the expansion of NATO with Sweden’s newly approved membership, have instilled a renewed urgency to further strengthen the STRING megaregion’s transport network. This enhancement is not just about improving trade and cooperation with the rest of Europe but also about preparing the infrastructure for increased military mobility. The capability to move troops and heavy equipment efficiently across borders is now paramount.

That the was the topic during the STRING event held at the Region Skåne Brussels Office during the Connecting Europe Days focusing on resilient cross-border infrastructure along the TEN-T ScanMed corridor fit for today’s geopolitica landscape.

Resilience and enablement of the cross-border infrastructure

Key concerns during the event were the lack of redundancy in the current fixed link across the Öresund Belt, the single bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden as well as the importance of the Oslo-Gothenburg railway stretch. The event also explored the European Union’s role in facilitating infrastructure development. The EU’s dual funding schemes were identified as a crucial tool for enhancing cross-border infrastructure and preventing bottlenecks, particularly lifted by the EU Military Staff as a scheme being done in collaboration with DG MOVE and NATO.

The panel discussion featured a range of experts, including Colonel Gert Dobben from the European Union Military Staff, Per Kristen Brekke from the Norwegian delegation to NATO, Karin Pleijel, Deputy Mayor of Göteborgs Stad, Lars Thunberg, Deputy Mayor of Helsingborgs stad, and Hans Tino Hansen, CEO and founder of Risk Intelligence A/S. The dialogue addressed both civilian and military aspects of infrastructure needs, emphasizing the interconnectedness of these requirements. Welcome remarks by Anna Ingers was made, and the event was moderated by Managing Director of STRING, Thomas Becker.

The event brought together stakeholders from various sectors to discuss the importance of resilient infrastructure in the ScanMed corridor. Through collaboration between governments, the EU, NATO, and private companies, significant progress can be made in ensuring the secure and efficient movement of people and goods across borders. Discussions during the event addressed the increased need for military mobility across borders necessitates infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the movement of troops and heavy equipment.

The question remains: how can we ensure that the northern TEN-T ScanMed corridor is equipped to handle these dual demands and help Sweden fulfill its NATO commitments? The answer lies in strategic enhancements that consider both defense and civilian needs. The European Union’s role in this transformation is crucial, as it provides both funding and policy guidance to align the STRING megaregion’s development with broader European strategic objectives.

New STRING report highlights importance of fixed links across Oresund

A new report commissioned by STRING and the City of Helsingborg underscores the strategic significance of the Helsingør-Helsingborg tunnel, a crucial infrastructure development aimed at bolstering Northern Europe’s defense capabilities amid the evolving geopolitical landscape, especially following the NATO inclusion of Sweden. The report was discussed at the event as it reaffirms the Helsingør-Helsingborg tunnel’s role as a strategic asset, enhancing Northern Europe’s military logistics and resilience

The report written by Risk Intelligence emphasizes the tunnel’s role in providing vital route redundancy for military logistics, a critical need highlighted by recent regional security challenges.

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