The Road Ahead - CEE Transport Infrastructure Dynamics

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Transport infrastructure development in CEE and its importance for the region’s economic growth

Stronger co-operation between the CEE countries is crucial for economic growth. The Three Seas Initiative was established to create a platform for the CEE region’s integration with the EU as a whole. Its objectives are to strengthen political ties, facilitate cross-border co-operation and enable large, pan-regional projects which will stimulate sustainable economic growth. The Three Seas area covers 12 EU member states which are all situated between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas. They account for 28% of the EU’s territory and 22% of its population, but only 10% of its GDP.

Discussions about how to strengthen the economy have focused on the need to improve the infrastructure of the entire CEE region. One of the major areas of focus is the strengthening of the north-south transport infrastructure links. Central Europe has the most of the necessary east-west connections but improving the north-south links will be vital for balanced regional economic growth.

This report is our contribution to the ongoing debate of what is needed to deliver future transport infrastructure for CEE. Here we consider what has already been done in the region to improve transport connectivity, what more should be happening and how it can be delivered both practically and financially. 



CEE infrastructure remains less mature than that of Western Europe

Prior to EU accession, infrastructure investment throughout the region was historically low, resulting in a considerable disparity between CEE and EU15. However since 1995, nearly €210 billion has been invested in CEE transport infrastructure. Whilst much progress has been made, particularly in the road network, CEE needs further infrastructure investment to reach the EU15’s level of competitiveness.

Using existing TEN-T corridors to better advantage

In this report we look at the importance of the 6 TEN-T tranport corridors that are critical for CEE and Three Seas initiative: North Sea-Baltic, Baltic-Adriatic, Rhine-Danube, Orient / East-Med, Mediterranean and Motorways of the Sea, as well as other initiatives including Pan-European transport corridors, Belt & Road, and Trans-Caspian International Transport Route that extend EU’s trade routes far beyond its boundaries, connecting CEE with global trade networks.

Development of the TEN-T core network corridors requires significant investment between now and 2030

PwC & Oxford Economics estimated the financing need for transport infrastructure across the CEE and CIS as €615 bn to 2025. To date EU funds have been the most important source of finance for the transport needs across the CEE. However with the pressure on public debt, there is need to look for increasing levels of private investment. Is the CEE region an attractive market for private infrastructure investors?

Six technologies that we believe will impact transport infrastructure development

It is estimated that 75% of the infrastructure that will exist in 2050 does not exist today. A wide array of breakthrough technologies have been transforming the ways we build and manage our infrastructure. They are reshaping how the transport sector operates, providing opportunities to do things differently and more cost effectively. The technologies discussed in this report are: drones, 3D printing, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, autonomous vehicles and smart cities/grids.

Contact us

Agnieszka Gajewska
CEE Capital Projects and Infrastructure Leader
Tel: +48 517140537

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