Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden will host important visitors this week as Mr. Brian Simpson, European Coordinator for the Motorways of the Sea (MoS), and Mr. José Anselmo, TEN-T/MoS Policy Advisor, come to explore the results achieved in the first phase of the Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor project, and to familiarize themselves with the know-how and the cooperation between the Vaasa and Umeå cross-border regions.
Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor, a joint project between the dynamic Vaasa and Umeå regions, aims at expanding transport cooperation between the regions and creating a sustainable foundation for a safe and environmentally friendly transport system for passengers and freight in the corridor.
The first phase of this project will end on December 31, 2015, and the preparations for the next phase have been underway for some time now. A new, environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and reliable ferry for the route between Vaasa and Umeå will be an essential part of the second phase and, simultaneously, of the transport system in the Bothnian corridor.
Mr. Simpson, Euro-MP in 1999-2004, was appointed the Coordinator of Motorways of the Sea last year. He has shown a genuine interest in this transport project across the Kvarken and, in fact, it was he who suggested this visit.
- It is great and, indeed, rare that high EU officials are so interested that they reserve four days in their busy schedules in order to familiarize themselves with our cross-border cooperation, transport project and innovations made by regional enterprises, says Director of the Kvarken Council and Project Manager of Midway Alignment.
Mr. Anselmo will start the visit by meeting local politicians in Umeå on Monday September 14, and on Tuesday he will explore the accomplishments of the project’s first phase. Further, it will be a study visit to Kvarken Ports Ltd, as well as Wasaline shipping company, which is owned jointly by the cities of Vaasa and Umeå. Both these enterprises are good examples of practical, hands-on cross-border cooperation across the Kvarken Strait.
Mr. Simpson and Mr. Anselmo will arrive in Vaasa on Tuesday evening, September 15, and meet local politicians at a reception arranged by the City of Vaasa. On Wednesday they will take part in a workshop focusing on maritime innovations. In addition to local enterprises, the workshop will be attended by representatives from the Transport Agency, the Ministry of Transport and Communications as well as marine experts.