On 26 April 2021, Finland's Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka and Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the two countries in the transport sector.
The purpose of the MoU is cooperation in the transport sector and exchange of information between the countries in order to promote large-scale transport projects,
such as the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel, Rail Baltica, Trans-European Transport Networks, and North Sea–Baltic Sea core network corridor. The MoU provides an improved environment for applying EU funding for the projects.
The states are not bound by the MoU to any individual projects.
“Finland and Estonia have very ambitious rail projects underway. Our countries and capitals are located in the same EU core network corridors that will soon be expanded. In order to take advantage of the opportunities this will bring, it is wise to develop our transport systems in good cooperation and on the basis of close exchange of information. The overall objective should be that the transport systems of Finland and Estonia operate in multimodal integration, providing high-quality and sustainable journeys and transport between Northern and Central Europe.”, says the Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
The Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas is glad that Finland and Estonia have agreed upon a common ground for the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel project and Rail Baltica. “The final stop of Rail Baltica should not be Tallinn but Helsinki. Integrating the tunnel to TEN-T will serve as a new freight gateway to Europe and make our capitals a twin-city,” added Aas.
The MoU states that the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel is a unique project of the future that would require innovative actions and diversified sources of funding. Together with Rail Baltica, it would provide quick access to Central Europe.
In February 2018, the FinEst Link project published the results of the feasibility study of the Helsinki-Tallinn railway tunnel. Based on the study, a working group of representatives of the Finnish and Estonian Ministries of Transport and Communications and the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn will assess the follow-up action required. Cooperation related to the tunnel was discussed at the joint meeting of the Governments of Finland and Estonia in May 2018.
The MoU will be in force until 2030.
Source: Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications