Rail Baltic task force reached an agreement on joint venture31.07.2013
Last night the representatives of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland reached an agreement in Brussels on forming the Rail Baltic joint venture. The transport ministers of the five countries will have to sign the joint declaration at the unofficial transport council meeting in Vilnius in September.
The aim of the Rail Baltic joint venture is to coordinate the preparation of building the railway line, including preparing the financing application of the project to the European Commission, participating in harmonising legislation, compiling the business plan for Rail Baltic, the spatial planning of the railway, conducting studies, wider introduction of the project etc. A joint venture founded on these principles creates a premise for acquiring financial support for the project from the European Union. It was agreed that in every Baltic State, the infrastructure of Rail Baltic will initially remain to the possession of that specific country where the railway is located. Every shareholder contributes 0.65 million euros per year over the next four years.
Estonian economic affairs and communications minister Juhan Parts welcomes the agreement reached as a result of the negotiations. The company founded with the Shareholders Agreement will initially belong to the three Baltic States, but the declaration leaves Finland and Poland an option to join the company. Rail Baltic is a high speed rail network from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border with a planned speed of 240km/h. None of the existing railway lines will be transferred to the joint venture.