Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, much progress has been made toward fulfilling the vision of a Europe whole and free. However, much work remains to complete a critical element of this vision, the creation of a single European market. That will require the development of infrastructure networks that bind together the economies of Central Europe with the rest of European Union.
This week the Atlantic Council and Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) rolled out its report, Completing Europe – From the North-South Corridor to Energy, Transportation, and Telecommunications Union. This study, led by former US National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., USMC (Ret.) and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEEP Pawel Olechnowicz, calls for the accelerated construction of a North-South Corridor of energy, transportation, and communications links stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic and Black Seas.
In their opening chapter Jones and Olechnowicz write:
“Completing the North-South Corridor offers a unique opportunity to further Europe’s integration, enhance its energy security, increase its competitiveness in global market place, and strengthen its economic resilience – all while furthering its climate change objectives. Accelerating the corridor is a critical step to initiating the next phase of completing Europe – and that should make the North-South Corridor both a European and a transatlantic priority.”
Completing Europe is an in-depth study that examines infrastructure development across Central Europe in the energy, transportation, and telecommunications sectors. The project brought together leading European and American experts to provide a comprehensive assessment of ongoing projects and offer practical recommendations on how to address the financial requirements of crucial infrastructure investments.
- The chapters on energy and transportation detail the major infrastructure projects in central Europe, both currently underway and planned, highlighting those whose completion is most urgent to the North-South Corridor:
- The chapter on telecommunications explores how the North-South Corridor can be leveraged to further bridge the digital divide that continues to exist in Europe.
- The chapter on finance examines those budgetary and commercial challenges confronting the North-South Corridor and lays out a detailed menu of options.
The report’s recommendations are addressed to policymakers at national and regional levels in the European Union, policymakers in the United States, and decision-makers in the business sector. This report provides a road map for how transatlantic cooperation on the North-South Corridor can play a vital role in fostering economic growth and energy security in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.
The Completing Europe study was led by the Atlantic Council and CEEP, in coordination with the Central & Eastern Europe Development Institute and with the support of Grupa LOTOS S.A. and Przedsiebiorstwo Eksploataciji Rurociagow Naftowych S.A., PERN “Przyjazn.”