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Cross-border and nordic transport policy

Research project E12 Atlantica BA3NET is a research project involving three research groups from three universities in the Botnia-Atlantica region; Umeå University, Vasa University and Nord University. We are working in close interaction with regional organisations and municipalities within the E12-region, national transport administration and other Nordic actors.

Planning of measures in infrastructure is strictly national. What methods and models are needed for planning in Nordic cross-border transport corridors? In the project, knowledge, methods and tools for analysis of investments for cross-border transport links in between Nordic countries are developed. The aim is to develop long-standing competence within cross-border transport planning in the Botnia-Atlantica region. Resources that may support actors with an aim to reduce barriers and develop competitive structures in order obtain sustainable growth. The goal is to present reports and internationally published articles as well as seminars and conferences where results are clarified, developed and disseminated. The log-rang goal of the financing principals is to development the east-west corridor TEN-T E12 in order to gain improved, sustainable communication and an increased exchange between the countries. The project is interacting closely with “E12 Atlantica Transport”, a project that engage regional and local officials within the Botnia-Atlantica region and consultants.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2017-01-01 2019-11-30


INTERREG Botnia-Atlantica         Lars Westin
Trafikverket                              Jonas Westin
Statens vegvesen                      Johan Lundberg
Jernbanedirektoratet                  Petri Helo
Föreningen Blå vägen                 Gisle Solvoll
MidtSkandia                               Thor-Erik Sandberg
Nordland fylkeskommune            Hanssen   
Österbottens Förbund
Vasa stad

2 800 000 SEK/år
542 000 NOK/år

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Centre for Regional Science, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research area

Economics, Regional studies

Project description

E12 is a European road from Helsingfors to Mo i Rana. Nordic countries have an intensive exchange in trade, work and visits. The project compare Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian national planning of infrastructure. How should regional and local actors communicate with the national level when they will improve cross-border corridors, such as E12? So far, we have found that

  • Planning of infrastructure is strictly national. Benefits and costs in other countries are not considered.
  • Ferries within countries are considered as national transport policy. Ferries between Nordic countries are considered as international shipment. If Finland and Sweden were one country the ferry between Umeå and Vasa would have been domestic.
  • National planning is in favour of social economic effective transport systems in the central parts of each transport system. This does not guarantee a social economic transport system at Nordic level or near borders.
  • Actors in border regions have to spend more resources on dialogues with transport administrations in many countries compared with actors more centrally located in nations. The border related processes becomes a border obstacle. It is easier for regions to engage in pure national processes.
  • It has not been possible to find systematic problems in the way the Swedish Transport administration measures traffic, but the Swedish freight model does not allow for flows on E12 between Storuman and the Norwegian border.
  • A comparison between national methods show differences that not may be motivated, but anyhow will influence the outcome.
  • The possibility to model freight flows at regional level is generally limited. 


Organisations in the E12-region are applying to become a EGTC, a EU body that may increase resources to develop a green and border-crossing transport policy.

Latest update: 2019-10-14