Lithuania aims to ensure state management of „Rail Baltica“ infrastructure
As the national railways are very important for national security, Lithuania aims to ensure the State management of infrastructure of the strategically important railway “Rail Baltica”, says press center of Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communication. The issues of the project “Rail Baltica”, including management of future infrastructure, will be discussed in the meeting of Prime Ministers of the Baltic States that will be held in Riga on the 6th of December. The ministers of transport, TEN-T coordinator for the North Sea - Baltic corridor, Mrs. Catherine Trautmann, and Director-General of the European Commission for Mobility and Transport, Mr. Henrik Hololei, are also going to participate.
The infrastructure that has strategical importance for Lithuania is an exclusive property of the State, the control of which is assigned by the State to the subject that it controls. Therefore, public rail infrastructure in Lithuania is managed by sole manager of public rail infrastructure owned by the State – AB “Lietuvos geležinkelių infrastruktūra” (Lithuanian Rail Infrastructure Ltd).
“Transport infrastructure is a strategically important asset of the state, therefore, Lithuania’s interest is to maintain the management of the newly built Rail Baltica infrastructure in the hands of a state-owned enterprise that manages railway infrastructure in Lithuania. To secure the interest of its economic security, the state cannot lose autonomy in decision making related to infrastructure networks and their development”, – says Minister of Transport and Communications Mr. Jaroslav Narkevič.
The main purpose of future “Rail Baltica” infrastructure is to safeguard smooth and open access to rail infrastructure that would increase competitiveness and attractiveness of railway “Rail Baltica” and that would ensure conditions for business.
While considering a management model of infrastructure, the most important thing is to ensure favourable conditions for market and carriers, that would induce bigger carriage volumes and generation of bigger income. Attractiveness of the infrastructure depends first of all, on performance of functions of the infrastructure’s manager – granting of access to infrastructure, taxes, administrative burden, etc. Performance of functions of the infrastructure’s manager is determined not by regulation, but by the organizational form or structure. Therefore, Lithuania invites the project’s partners to endeavour at uniform attitude towards the main functions of the infrastructure’s manager and their performance, first of all, without setting choice of the form of the infrastructure’s manager as a separate goal.
The institutions implementing the project will continue endeavouring at safeguarding effective and uniform policy of use and management of the project “Rail Baltica”, through coordination of collection procedure of infrastructure charges in the entire network “Rail Baltica” and cooperation in the areas of assignment of capacities, traffic control and maintenance of infrastructure.
With regard to possibilities to solve practical issues, local managers of infrastructure would be the best choice for management of “Rail Baltica” infrastructure. This would safeguard an integrated decision-making procedure and coordination of functions.