Brent Scowcroft Center Chairman General James L. Jones, Jr., Jr. cowrites for the Hill with President and CEO of Grupa LOTOS S.A Pawel Olechnowicz on the North-South Corridor:
Twenty-five years after Poland’s Solidarity and other dissident movements brought about the collapse of the Berlin Wall and promised a reunified Europe, the continent’s political map suggests that this vision has been largely fulfilled. Nations that once lived behind the Wall’s ideological divide have joined the European Union to help build a secure, prosperous region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Baltic and Black seas.
But economic and infrastructure maps portray a different picture. Europe integration remains dangerously incomplete. A glaring problem is in Central Europe, where national networks of railroads, power lines, communications links—and notably oil and gas pipelines—remain largely disconnected from each other and from Western Europe. Nations from Estonia and Poland to the Balkans lack the connections running north-south and east-west essential to making them fully part of a single European market. This is the unhealed legacy of a half-century of Soviet-led development, during which disinterest in such intra-regional connections kept these lands dependent on Moscow.