On April 26, 2021, Finland and Estonia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the transport sector and exchange of information. This promotes transport projects, such as the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel, Rail Baltica, Trans-European Transport Networks, and North Sea–Baltic Sea core network corridor. The MoU is not legally binding with respect to project development and the parties are not bound in any manner to any individual projects under the MoU. Nevertheless, this transaction reflects in written form intent of said parties to cooperate in the matter subject to the MoU. The MoU shall be in force until 2030.
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. The objective will be the multimodal integration of Finnish and Estonian transport systems, providing high-quality transport between Northern and Central Europe. The Helsinki-Tallin tunnel project and Rail Baltica would provide a quick access to Central Europe. The MoU provides also an improved environment for applying EU funding for the 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 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” states The Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas.