It is the top politicians in the STRING partnership, consisting of Region Skåne, Capital Region of Denmark, City of Copenhagen, Region Zealand, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, that met in Copenhagen during the Fehmarnbelt Days 2014.
Over the coming months, decisive decisions on the future infrastructure between Scandinavia and Central Europe will be taken in Denmark and Germany, and therefore the politicians wanted to express their concerns as well as their commitment to the "new geography" that will be the result of the over 10 billion Euro investment between Hamburg and Copenhagen.
The declarations says:
''We stand on the brink of a new era for Northern Europe. The coming year will be crucial in shaping the game-changing new infrastructure between Copenhagen and Hamburg, via the new Fehmarnbelt Tunnel. As such, the coming year will also be decisive for the economic and sustainable development of our part of Northern Europe for many years to come.
STRING fully supports the establishment of this new geography, and we see this historical development as a pre-requisite for our aspiration to create a sustainable, green transport system where rail becomes more competitively viable compared to other, more polluting transport modes, such as road and air.
STRING has an overall goal that the transport time between Hamburg and Copenhagen should not exceed 2,5 hours in 2021, when the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel opens.
We acknowledge, and appreciate the positive development in the infrastructure planning in Northern Germany, with the decision on a new Fehmarnsund crossing and further efficient planning for the railway between Lübeck and Fehmarn, as well as the plans to build the new S4 tracks from Lübeck to Hamburg, freeing up space for regional and fast intercity train
As representatives for the 8,4 million inhabitants in the STRING geography, we would like to stress that the future service and operation of the rail system is vitally important to be able to reach the full potential of the new, strong economic interactions that will likely occur as a result of the improved mobility after the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel opens.
In order to maximise these benefits, the collaboration between the service operators in the corridor is paramount to ensure a smooth, customer friendly service. We therefore urge the national authorities in Sweden, Denmark and Germany to initiate the planning of a common, future service, now.
The declaration will be forwarded to the national governments, and will be the basis for the coming months discussions between the national politicians and authorities, and the STRING partners.