A large turnout for the event, an opportunity for information and interregional cooperation on current and future rail projects on the Adriatic-Ionian line
A large number of citizens and experts took part on 23 June in "Towards a multimodal Adriatic-Ionian major line with multiple connections to the Tyrrhenian coast", an event staged by the Abruzzo Region in collaboration with the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) as part of the European Year of Rail 2021. Connecting from L'Aquila and Brussels, speakers included president of the Abruzzo Region and CoR member Marco Marsilio; Portugal's secretary of state for infrastructure, Jorge Delgado on the outlook for the Portuguese Council presidency; the director for Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), Herald Ruijters; and Italy's deputy minister for infrastructure and sustainable transport, Alessandro Morelli.
The local event is part of DG MOVE's official programme for the European Year of Rail 2021 and is supported by the Commission for Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) of the European Committee of the Regions.
Building on the objectives of the Green Deal (decarbonisation of transport and promoting a modal shift to rail) and the promotion of social, economic and territorial cohesion, the aim of the initiative was to disseminate information to the public and businesses about planned and ongoing projects and interregional cooperation on the Adriatic-Ionian rail line, as the backbone of an intermodal and interconnected transport system.
Among those taking part in the first panel, "Connecting Regions", was Alberto Mazzola, executive director of the CER (the European-level Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) and member of the European Economic and Social Committee. The second panel, "Cooperating among Regions", brought together the president of the Abruzzo Region, Marco Marsilio, the presidents of the regions of Molise and Apulia, Donato Toma (CoR member) and Michele Emiliano, and the Lazio Region's mobility minister, Mauro Alessandri. President Marsilio's conclusions were followed by an address from Alessandro Morelli, Italy's deputy minister for infrastructure and sustainable mobility.
The videoconference tackled in particular the issues of integration between different modes of transport, especially green and smart modes, and the use of state-of-the-art and sustainable fuel technologies such as hydrogen. To end, there was a presentation of the missing links in the current European transport corridors and the opportunities that may arise from their inclusion in the TEN-T network:
· promoting employment
· improving territorial cohesion
· reducing emissions
· raising awareness of environmental sustainability.
In his speech, the president of the Abruzzo Region, Marco Marsilio, proposed to the European Commission, as part of the TEN-T review process, that it consider the major Adriatic line and the lateral line towards the Tyrrhenian coast, stressing Abruzzo's ideal logistical position and the huge potential for attracting new industries and businesses. "Abruzzo's centrality in commercial and tourist traffic in the Mediterranean cannot be ignored - he said - Building up Abruzzo's ports will serve to expedite the transport of goods and people, thereby boosting employment and increasing competitiveness for production. Abruzzo calls on the European Commission to review the TEN-T networks, from which the European Mobility Corridors derive, and in particular to extend the Baltic-Adriatic corridor to the entire major Adriatic line, so as to link it, in Apulia, to the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor and create a branch of the latter from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balkans via the port of Ortona."
A recording of the entire event is available on the Facebook page of the Abruzzo Region.
The event is part of a series of "local dialogues" (#localdialogues) on European issues organised and supported by the European Committee of the Regions across the EU, which will constitute one of the Committee's contributions to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Matteo Miglietta – European Committee of the Regions
Tel. +32 (0)470 895 382
Katia Scolta – Abruzzo Region
Tel. +39 320 922 4671