Swedish and Norwegian support despite further delays

Sep 29, 2019 | Infrastrukture

Further delay of 3 to 4 months for the approval of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel. This message from the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Transport at the end of March has not made the Danish Government slow down its plans at all. And it is clear that our Swedish and Norwegian neighbours are still in full support as well.

New partner and County Mayor of Akershus County Council Anette Solli has expressed the importance of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel for Southern Norway for a long time:

“For us, it is important to view the whole of the northern part of the ScanMed Corridor as a connected area with mutual need for improved infrastructure to ensure growth and development. The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel is, of course, removes a critical bottleneck in a highly prioritized axis and is thereby a natural priority for us in Akershus County”.


Swedish STRING support

Also in Sweden, STRING’s political partners Region Skåne, Malmö Stad, Region Halland and Region Västra Götaland are all in favour of removing the bottleneck between Scandinavia and continental Europe by the establishment of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link. All in the knowledge that the Swedish businesses will benefit hugely by the tunnel.

Chair of the Regional Council in Västra Götaland, Magnus Berntsson is aware of Southern Sweden’s gains:

“Sweden is one of the big winners: As a country, you get the benefits but avoid the costs and the building phase. Germany is Sweden’s largest export market and with a fixed connection across the Fehmarnbelt, transport is facilitated between Sweden, Denmark and Germany in a greener and more efficient way”.

A large part of the profits for rail freight transport goes to Sweden, as 90% of freight traffic by rail in Denmark is transit to and from Sweden.


Commercial Sweden raising voices

The Swedish businesses have been vocal about their support [SF1] for a long time, but recently Per Tryding, Vice Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden, decided to be very vocal in a Danish newspaper, stating:

“The establishment of the tunnel will mean a radically improved connection, and that profits from revenue will benefit the public instead of the interests of private companies.”

“In business, support for the Fehmarn connection is unique and strong – we have not taken a single player in our businesses who are against the connection, neither in the Nordic countries nor in Germany”, he added.


Next steps for the approval

According to minister Bernd Buchholz, the delay of a further 3 to 4 months is a result of the Approval Authority wanting to prepare their approval to be thorough enough to stand in the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig where it is highly anticipated that Femern A/S will be taken to court, by the opponents of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link.

No further delays are foreseen and the support on a national level I unanimous – Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen both confirmed their strong support when they met earlier in April.

Also from Schleswig-Holstein there is news of firm support: The ground-breaking ceremony for the Fehmarnbelt connection will take place in 2020. This was guaranteed by Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther in a TV interview with TV station DK4.

Prime Minister Günther has “no doubt at all that the connection is coming,” the head of government said on the television program “Dansk-tysk med Matlok”.”The state government will do everything it can to complete the project as soon as possible. However, in Denmark we must make clear that we have a different planning procedures in Germany.”

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