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25/01/2018

Fehmarnbelt Days 2018 – going north!

For the fourth time in a row, the largest and most comprehensive conference on the Fehmarnbelt Corridor is on the move. This year’s Swedish host team is Region Skåne and the City of Malmö welcoming us on May 28 and 29 at Malmö Live to join transport ministers, mayors, business representatives, researchers and the interested public alike.

With both Danish Transport Minister Ole Birk Olesen, Schleswig-Holstein’s Transport Minister Bernd Buchholz and both Mayors Olaf Scholz of Hamburg and Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh of Malmö as well as Henrik Fritzon, Chair of the Regional Council of Region Skåne, attending the Fehmarnbelt Days 2018.

Host and Mayor of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh is looking forward to welcoming participants from Germany, Denmark, Norway – and Sweden and beyond, of course:

“The Fehmarnbelt Days provide a great opportunity for participants to learn more about what this region has to offer. The Malmö and Skåne region are Sweden’s gateway into the rest of Scandinavia. As a cross-border region we have great knowledge and experience, through the Öresund Bridge, as to what a fixed link which connects countries can do for the people living in the area in terms of integration, employment, connectivity, tourism, academia, and regional development. At the Fehrmanbelt Days we look forward to further exploring the opportunities that the Fehmarnbelt link provides for northern Europe”, the mayor states.

Conference theme: Tomorrow´s Connections

2018’s focus is on how implementing the right strategies can create better conditions for responsible growth, promote skills and cooperation. Head of the Fehmarnbelt Days Secretariat Stefan Rehm explains:

“We want to explore how the emerging region from Hamburg to the Öresund area and beyond up to Oslo uses its potential now and in the future with the coming Fehmarnbelt Tunnel. The connection by the Öresund Bridge and the Fehmarn Link will also have an impact on culture, tourism, scientific cooperation, city networks and of course transports and logistics.”

As the previous conferences, the Fehmarnbelt Days is a biennial conference focusing on issues, ideas and possibilities within logistics, transportation & infrastructure, construction, sustainable development, innovation & green growth, culture & creative industries, education, research and science, labour market and tourism. In short: All the areas we are good at and could excel in through more cooperation! The name of the game is narrowing in on the possibilities within the Fehmarnbelt Corridor from Hamburg in the south, over eastern Denmark and crossing the Öresund to southern Sweden and Oslo region.

This year’s main conference will be hosted by the Fehmarnbelt Business Council Conference and will investigate how transport and logistics solutions can work as a motor for responsible growth in the corridor.

Ministers to meet

The Danish Transport Minister Ole Birk Olesen and Swedish Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth have both already confirmed their participation for the Fehmarnbelt Days 2018 as has Minister of Transport Bernd Buchholz from Schleswig-Holstein and Mayors of both Hamburg and Malmö are attending, showing strong support across all three nations. Pat Cox from the EU commission is also expected to attend.

Danish Transport Minister Ole Birk Olesen says:

“Because I appreciate the many efforts to strengthen the co-operation in the Fehmarnbelt Corridor and to prepare the using of the new opportunities of having a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt, I am looking forward to participating in the Fehmarnbelt Days 2018 in Malmö and in the panel discussion between ministers for transport”.

Private partners

The partners behind the conference are, besides the hosts of Region Skåne and the City of Malmo, the Fehmarnbelt Committee, Fehmarnbelt Business Council, Femern A/S and STRING.

For the second-time round, the organizers of the Fehmarnbelt Days 2018 have offered private companies, organisations, networks or projects to become a partner of the Fehmarnbelt Days to partake with their own events such as workshops, seminars or conferences within the context of the joint forum. As of now, there are already 15 activity partners with more on the way.

 

Facts:

• 28/29 May 2018, Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live, Malmö, Sweden

• 6 organizers

• 15 activity partners

• One common single track conference day (28.05)

• One session/seminar/conference day with 24 session slots reserved so far (29.05.)

• 14 exhibitors

• 2 sponsors

• Side program planned:

• Excursion trip from Germany to Sweden on Sunday (Femern A/S)

• Pop-up event at the networking village regarding the Fixed Link (Femern A/S)

• Public outreach: Jumping Castle in the city centre of Malmö (Femern A/S)

• Professional moderators: Trine Grönlund and Marc-Christoph Wagner

 

For more information, please go to www.fehmarnbeltdays.com

15/12/2017

Schleswig-Holstein: Approval Authority to join Ministry of Transport

In order to make road construction faster and to be closer to the necessary planning proces, the Approval Authority of Schleswig-Holstein will organizationally be moved to the Ministry of Transport already before the end of 2017. SH Transport Minister Dr. Bernd Buchholz and State Secretary Dr. Thilo Rohlfs informed this already in early September. So far, the Authority was part of the planning authority LBV-SH – the Landesbetrieb Strassenbau und Verkehr Schleswig-Holstein.

“With this reorganization, we will not only strengthen the approval authority in its independence but also assume the direct responsibility for providing the necessary resources to the authority. By doing so, we will help the process to go faster, said Buchholz, Minister of Transport.

According to Secretary of State Rohlfs, who is also the head of the nearly 1,400 LBV-SH employees, the organizational relocations must be completed by the end of 2017. In addition, the authority must be provided with more staff.

 

External Coordinator for the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel

In order to support the ongoing authority approval process and clarification of the legal issues regarding the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, an external coordinator must also be introduced for the first time. According to Rohlfs, the Tender and Planning Lawyer, Prof. dr. Mathias Nebendahl of the University of Kiel, stated that he would take over the assignment.

The reorganization is based on a recommendation from experts from KPMG in Hamburg. According to them, a significant advantage is a clearer future clearer separation between LBV-SH as project developer and as approval authority. This, according to the Secretary of State, has often been a focal point in ongoing planning processes.

05/10/2017

STRING to expand with five new members in 2018

The STRING Cooperation is in the process of expanding the STRING region northwards to Norway with the City of Malmö, Region Halland, Västra Götalandsregionen, Akershus Fylkeskommune and Østfold Fylkeskommune.

A positive expansion of the STRING ‘family’ is taking place right now with the regions along the Swedish west coast and the regions around Oslo. The City of Malmø has already clearly said “yes please” to the invitation to join this larger political cooperation and with letters of intent from several other regions, the path has been made clear to welcome the new members. With regard and respect for the necessary political decision-making of the new organisations, all six regions and cities will become members of STRING on 1 January 2018.

Mayor of Malmö, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, is very pleased with the decision to join STRING.

– We are delighted to have been invited to join STRING as a full member. Malmö has for a long time been indirectly involved in STRING´s work. I.e. from joint European projects and publicly supporting STRING at home as well as in Brussels. Within our cross-border region we have developed knowledge through the Öresund bridge regarding what a fixed link between two countries can do for an entire region. Malmö can bring these experiences, as well as dedication and participation, to the STRING´s work ahead.

 

Strengthened political influence

An expansion of STRING with the regions on Sweden’s west coast to Norway follows the one branch of the most northern part of the TEN-T ScanMed network. Thereby, the collective influence of the STRING regions will be immensely strengthened on both national and EU levels. By developing a common, strong political agenda that covers a large geography in Northern Europe, STRING’s joint voice will resonate stronger. The new coming members are also strong in their support for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link in recognition of the importance of the link for the whole of Scandinavia.

Jacob Vestergaard, Managing Director of STRING, has worked with the recent Chair of STRING, Steen Bach Nielsen, on the expansion of STRING and comments:

– The expansion will without doubt give a better coordination of efforts, politics and investments and open up for exciting new and common projects.

 

FACTS:

From 1 January 2018 the following regions and cities will become members of STRING (with respect to political deciscion-making in the respective organisations):

  • City of Malmö
  • Region Halland
  • Västra Götalandsregionen
  • Akershus Fylkeskommune
  • Østfold Fylkeskommune

04/10/2017

European Transport Coordinator will bring Fehmarn funding into new budget

Danish, Swedish and German politicians signed a joint declaration on the importance of the Fehmarn Connection in Brussels. As an added bonus, there was news of financial support from the European Coordinator.

By Casper Ravnsted-Larsen, Zealand Denmark EU Office

Find the original article in Danish HERE

Danish, Swedish and German politicians signed a joint declaration on the importance of the Fehmarn Connection in Brussels. Added bonus was positive news of financial support from the European Coordinator.

Coordinator of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Transport Corridor, Pat Cox, was repeatedly applauded by the audience at the European Parliament while participating in the panel discussion on September 26 during the European launch of the Friend of Fehmarnbelt initiative in Brussels.

He had a number of clear messages with him from his homeland, Ireland:

– Let there be no doubt: The Fehmarn Connection is, and will continue to be, a European top priority, he said.

Pat Cox had forgotten his glasses and had to make do with sunglasses in the not overly bright committee room in the European Parliament.

To local radio station, P4 Zealand, who had found their way to Brussels, Pat Cox added that the EU support, just over 4.4 billion Danish Crownes (money, the Fehmarn Construction has already been allocated) are not necessarily lost because they are not used in the current budget period due to delays.

– We will try to negotiate to keep the money in the purse and thus be able to use them when the time comes, he explained to P4 Zealand.

The normal practice for funding allocated by the European Commission for such projects is for them to be used for the duration of the budget until 2020. In 2015, 4.4 billion Danish Crowns were allocated for the construction of the tunnel between 2016 and 2019. Today, Fehmarn A / S does not expect construction to start before 2020.

It was thus a happy and content Schleswig-Holstein Transport Minister, Bernd Buchholz, who listened to Pat Cox. He has to deal with the concerns of the population and environmental organizations as revealed by public consultations on the project.

– This is an enormously important statement for both the German and Danish sides, was his response.

 

A focus on the positive

The resigning chairman of STRING cooperation, Steen Bach Nielsen, is of the same opinion.

– As I heard Pat Cox today, he gave the impression that we could most likely hold on to what we have already been promised, Bach Nielsen stated to radio P4 Zealand.

The initiative Friends of Fehmarnbelt, which was the starting point of the event in Brussels, has just been initiated by Steen Bach Nielsen who wants to shift focus from the negative stories of delays to the positive stories of growth, jobs, shorter travel times and less CO2- emissions.

– We have sent a strong signal to the European Parliament, the European Commission and the member states today emphasizing the importance of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link. This historically large infrastructure project will increase growth, create jobs, reduce CO2-emissions and remove a priority bottleneck in the TEN-T corridor. Together we will do everything we can to help the process forward as smoothly and quickly as possible, Steen Bach Nielsen explained.

 

Hard negotiations ahead

The hosts of the event were four members of the European Parliament from Sweden, Denmark and Germany. From the Danish side, Jeppe Kofod was pleased that Brussels was once again reminded of what

– enormous benefits this infrastructure project has for the citizens, for business, jobseekers, the environment and for growth in general on both sides of the tunnel.

– In Brussels, we are starting work on the next multiannual framework budget. I will on my part fight to make the European Commission and the member states aware that grants for cross-border infrastructure projects should continue to be a priority part of the upcoming EU budget, he said.

Jeppe Kofod’s German colleague Knut Fleckenstein agreed.

– There is no doubt that the forthcoming budget negotiations will be tough. It is therefore extremely important that we tell our national governments and the European Commission – and remind even ourselves – that EU funding should be retained for projects such as the Fehmarnbelt tunnel,

Fleckenstein said, and added during the debate that the Transport Committee in the European Parliament, that he himself is more than convinced and that the task now is to convince the budget committee.

During the event, Steen Bach Nielsen and the host MEPs signed a joint declaration that the Fehmarnbelt link is an important part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor, and thus is crucial for achieving the EU’s goals of growth and sustainable transport. The declaration is to be sent to a number of senior European politicians.

 

About the European launch of Friends of Fehmarnbelt:

Hosts

Jeppe Kofod, MEP and Vice President of S & D

Jens Nilsson, MEP (S & D)

Gesine Meißner, MEP (ALDE)

Knut Fleckenstein, MEP (S & D)

 

The event was arranged by:

Friends of Fehmarnbelt

STRING

EU offices in the STRING corridor:
ZealandDenmark, Skåne European Office, Copenhagen EU Office and Hanse-Office

26/09/2017

Joint regional and EU message: Fehmarn Belt tunnel is a top European priority

Today at the European Parliament, politicians from Sweden, Denmark and Germany sent a clear and positive message together with members of the European Parliament on the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link.

By removing a major European transport bottleneck, the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link will greatly increase mobility and transport capacity of both goods and passengers in the corridor from Northern Germany to Southern Scandinavia.

The regional politicians from STRING, representing regions in Germany, Denmark and Sweden, all agree that the tunnel will generate sustainable growth and innovative investments in the corridor between northern Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden.

Today at a conference held in Brussels, they signed a joint political declaration with national MEPs advocating why the Fehmarnbelt Link is essential for achieving EU targets of growth and sustainable transport as an important part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Transport Corridor.

CO2 reduction and EU funding

Chair of STRING, Mr. Steen Bach Nielsen is pleased that the STRING Political Forum and Members of the European Parliament Mr. Knut Fleckenstein (S&D), Mr. Jens Nilsson (S&D), Ms. Gesine Meissner (ALDE) and Mr. Jeppe Kofod (S&D) met with over 100 interested participants at a meeting in the European Parliament today. Mr. Steen Bach Nielsen says:

–          We have sent a strong signal to the European Parliament, the European Commission and the member states today, stressing the importance of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link. This historically large infrastructure project under the sea will boost growth, create jobs, reduce CO2 emissions and remove a prioritized bottleneck in the TEN-T Corridor. We should all do all we can to help the process run as smoothly and quickly forward as possible.

Mr. Jeppe Kofod, MEP (S&D), agrees.

–          Today we have once again been reminded what massive benefits this infrastructure project means, for citizens, for business, for job seekers, for the environment and for growth in general, on both sides of the tunnel. Brussels is about to start work on the next multiannual financial framework, and I will from my position fight to keep the European Commission and the member states aware that grants for cross-border infrastructure projects must remain a prioritized part of the future EU budget, he says.​

For Mrs. Gesine Meissner, MEP (ALDE), the increased mobility that people will benefit from is important.

–          The European transport networks are crucial for the realization of the idea of mobility across borders for goods and people, and the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel is no exception. The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel is as important as the Brenner Base Tunnel. Why is one applauded and the other heavily criticized by environmentalists? The tunnel will decrease CO2 emissions. People from Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, as well as Danish and Swedish regions, are looking ahead at a massive amount of opportunities, when looking for a job or a holiday destination, within a significantly shorter travel time.

Mr. Knut Fleckenstein, MEP (S&D), stresses the importance of political pressure to secure EU grants for infrastructure projects like the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel.

–          National cross-border transport planning is of importance. It creates jobs, growth and improves the environment. There is no doubt that the upcoming budget negotiations are going to be tough. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we tell our national governments, the Commission and remind ourselves that EU grants must be preserved for projects like the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel.

The European Coordinator for the TEN-T Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor, Mr. Pat Cox, believes the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will benefit Europe as a whole:

–          The Fehmnarnbelt Link will have an immense effect on the transport flows between Scandinavia and Central Europe. It has a high priority for the EU and will contribute not only to economic growth and job creation which off course is important – but also to the EU goals of reducing harmful emissions as the link improves the competitiveness of rail compared to road and air transport of both goods and people.

Everyone can sign up and join the Friends of Fehmarnbelt at www.friendsoffehmarnbelt.org

17/09/2017

Fixed Fehmarnbelt connection: Time to start Fehmarn version 2.0

Today Oxford Research has published a report commissioned by the political STRING cooperation. With the title “Staircase to Growth”, the report analyzes how major infrastructure projects like the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link can generate sustainable growth and innovative investments in the corridor between northern Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden.

With the establishment of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, there are great gains to be harvested within both transport, logistics, digital business, tourism and culture. The STRING corridor between Northern Germany, Denmark and Southern Sweden, comprising the larger cities of Hamburg and Copenhagen, has the potential to become a growth engine in Northern Europe.

At the ready

To fully exploit the effects and realize the potentials, it is necessary to discuss the roadmap for the future of the emerging region already now.

This is the starting point for the report titled “Staircase to Growth”, which the political STRING cooperation has commissioned the research institute Oxford Research to compile and which has been published today.

The report shows how large infrastructure projects can contribute to sustainable growth and promote innovative investments – and shows the challenges that may arise on the way.

Three platforms

The report suggests three levels of platforms that are crucial if the existing barriers are to be overcome and the potentials and opportunities in the corridor fully utilised:

 

POLICY COOPERATION PLATFORM:
A central platform for cooperation and coordination between the regions of the three countries that decides the overall focus of cooperation. Here, the report points out that there is a need to strengthen the political cooperation and coordination structure in the corridor if sustainable framework conditions are to be created. Several stakeholders in the region point to the need for the central cooperation platform (which is STRING today) to have a stronger mandate for decision-making. In addition, more financial funds need to be earmarked for specific tasks in this context.In this regard, it is important to seek new cooperation.

 

TECHNICAL COOPERATION:

A number of technical taskforce and coordination platforms between the three countries, which should focus on coordination and synchronization of infrastructure development and regulation on an operational level.

 

INNOVATIVE COOPERATION:

A number of innovation platforms between the three countries in the form of cluster organizations which are capable of gathering higher educational, research and development facilities, businesses, public institutions and civil society across national borders.

STRING Chairman Steen Bach Nielsen, Regional Council Member in Region Zealand, emphasizes the need to act now:

“It is crucial for the future that we as politicians act now and work to create the best common framework conditions for business, research and development, tourism and culture. This will facilitate new collaborations and development opportunities for businesses – and for everyone sharing our vision of a more integrated region between Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

– As the report emphasizes, there are gains of billions awaiting when the connection is complete. Therefore, we must start the construction work as soon as possible, preferably already in 2018, so that the connection can open in 2026 rather than in 2028. Any potential trial may not have a suspensive effect and should only deal with details and possible compensation, the STRING Chairman stresses.

 

Read the full report here (in English)

25/08/2017

STRING Chairman: Cheaper bridge tariffs only bring slight affect to Fehmarn Fixed Link

Cheaper tariffs over the Great Belt will contribute to greater activity between the Region Zealand and Funen/Jutland, says the chair of the STRING cooperation, Steen Bach Nielsen, Region Zealand.

“Reduction of taxation means increased mobility, especially in the labour market, because workers can easily switch between different parts of the country. It will improve the connectitivity of Denmark. It especially benefits the citizens in Region Zealand and on Funen, respectively, but also the so-called ” Triangle Area”( the area surrounding Vejle, Fredericia and Kolding in Eastern Jutland, red.) , and of course it also benefits business”, STRING President Steen Bach Nielsen states in a comment on the Danish government’s latest initiative.

“Therefore, I do not see a big problem with the government’s plans to reduce the tariffs to cross the Great Belt Bridge. And also, I do not share the concern that the reduction in prices will adversely affect the economy of the Fehmarnbelt”, he emphasizes.

“The financing of the Fehmarn Connection is in place – and I cannot see that cheaper tariffs across the Great Belt moving a significant part of Germany’s traffic from Fehmarn over Funen and Southern Jutland,” said Steen Bach Nielsen.

-“The Ministry of Transport’s calculations show that the effect of the tariff reduction is an extension of the repayment period for both connections by three years. It has no decisive impact on the economy for neither the Fehmarn Connections nor the Great Belt Connections”, says the STRING Chairman.

 

Facts:

Over the next three years, the government will gradually lower the tariffs for driving across the Great Belt link with 25 percent. The reduction is to be introduced over a three-year period, so the first reduction will take place January 1, 2018 and is expected to be fully implemented January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Transport’s estimate shows that the tariff reduction will extend the payback period for the Great Belt Bridge from 30 to 33 years and for the Fehmarn connection from 33 to 36 years.

 

Read more

 

26/06/2017

Let’s get the Fehmarnbelt fixed link underway!

With the final consultations on the Fehmarnbelt fixed link beginning tomorrow in the German city of Lübeck, the chairman of STRING, Steen Bach Nielsen, highly urges governmental approval and construction start. A fresh YouGov poll shows a continued broad support for the project in Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

“Why should we put up with more delays to the Fehmarnbelt project? There is no political majority in Germany – neither in Berlin nor Kiel – that wants to stop the construction. So why these delays? Let’s get started so that both sides of Fehmarn can begin to capitalise on the many benefits of the new infrastructure.”

This was the clear message from Steen Bach Nielsen, the Chairman of STRING, the day before the final and crucial consultations on the Fehmarnbelt fixed link get underway in Lübeck.

Meaningless legal case
When the consultations are over, the authorities in Kiel will begin preparing construction permission for Femern A/S. This is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018 after which construction can, in principle, get underway. But an application may be lodged with the Federal Administrative Court that may postpone the start of construction by another two years. Indeed, the opposition organisations hope for four.

“But it makes no sense to postpone the start of construction any further. Everyone – including the environmental organisations that are fighting to postpone the start of construction – acknowledge that the link will be built. Therefore, any complaint to the Federal Court should not have a suspensive effect,” said Steen Bach Nielsen.

Survey shows support
He also refers to the most recent YouGov survey carried out on behalf of STRING that shows there is widespread support for the link in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. In Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, 35% are positive towards the link and only 13% are negative.

“There are a huge number of gains for Sweden, Denmark and Germany from upgrading the infrastructure that the Fehmarnbelt fixed link is a key part of. Ensuring that the link opens in 2026 instead of 2028 will benefit the whole of Europe and European co-operation,” says Steen Bach Nielsen, adding:

“There is only one winner from postponing the start to construction and that is Scandlines, that earns millions of euros for its owners, 3i, the venture capital company, every year.”

Danish Environmental Organisations
Steen Bach Nielsen also believes that it is thought-provoking that the Danish environmental organisations actually support the link and that they have co-operated constructively with the authorities and the client about environmental improvements, and that they have positive experiences from the Storebælt and Øresund fixed links.

“The exact opposite is the case with the German environmental organisations who do not wish to negotiate and who – in an incomprehensible alliance with the venture capital company – are trying their best to delay the link’s opening.  This, in turn, will not only delay the transport-related environmental benefits that the link will bring about, but also the link’s economic benefits and the better quality of life for those living in the region who will get more choice and improved mobility.”

25/06/2017

Folkemødet: A look into the future of the Fehmarnbelt Region and beyond

The Danish ‘democracy festival’ on the island of Bornholm had more events and guests than ever. STRING had asked Future Researcher Liselotte Lyngsø to moderate an event called ‘The train is leaving – Fehmarnbelt in 2028’.

The panellists in the debate were Steen Bach Nielsen, Chairman of STRING, Ilmar Reepalu from the Regional Council of Region Skåne, Pia Kinhult, Strategic Advisor, ESS – European Spallation Source and Martin Bender, CEO of VisitSydsjælland-Møn.  Name of the game was to take a trip to 2028 and look back on the development since 2017. What were the greatest outcomes of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link? Which obstacles had been the most difficult to overcome?

First, Liselotte Lyngsø of Future Navigator set the scene for 2028. Instead of Wi-Fi, we have Li-Fi – a surrounding optical wireless internet. We have driverless cars, meetings and hospital check-ups by virtual reality and hologram, nanobots repair our bodies, and gadgets monitor our health and help us communicate seamlessly across language barriers by simultaneously translating our conversations in earpieces.

Research in 2028
Pia Kinhult looked at 2028 through the eyes of a research institution: In 2028, there is a large amount of interesting, global cooperation. Hamburg and Lund-Copenhagen are one of the first to establish strong trans-national research in large scale – due to both the short travel time between the cities after the opening of the Fehmarn belt Tunnel of 2½ hours. Also because meetings and research can be conducted by virtual reality and hologram meetings. Great advances have been made due to these collaborations within technical and material science and medico/health research.

 

Tourists of the future
Martin Bender, CEO of VisitSydsjælland-Møn had a vision of how the tourism of the Fehmarn belt region would look like in 2028: We have moved from high-tech to high-touch. In an increasingly digital world, touch, smell and taste are valued senses. This is something the tourism in southern Zealand and the islands of Lolland Falster have benefitted from. Architects and engineers have worked hard to find solutions to building intelligent hotels and summerhouses that are highly adaptive to the natural coastlines, leaving the unique natural environment. This has drawn many German tourists but also many tourists from the Far East, especially China. In addition, due to climate change, the temperatures have risen a few degrees Celsius. Therefore, Lolland and Falster are now renowned wine producers with new and modern vineyards. Together with the movement of local, organic produce, the islands are a great hit with the young ‘foodie’ generation.

Tunnel opening in 2026
Chairman of STRING, Steen Bach Nielsen, had very high ambitions for the corridor from Southern Scandinavia to Northern Germany – and surprised the attending listeners with his vision from 2028: We opened the tunnel two years earlier! Beltretter, Nabu and other environmental organisations decided to listen to their Danish counterparts and saw that the project had indeed considered environmental conservation. Therefore, they decided against taking Femern A/S to the The Federal Administrative Court of Germany, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht. As a result, the tunnel already opened in 2026 to the benefit of citizens and businesses on both sides of the Belt!

See our Storify compilation for tweets, photos videos and more from Folkemødet HERE

21/06/2017

Substantial support for the Fehmarnbelt fixed link continues

In Skåne, Zealand, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, support for the Fehmarnbelt fixed link remains strong, shows a new survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of STRING in May 2017.

Compared to a similar survey from the autumn 2016, only marginal changes have occurred in respondents’ attitudes:

On Zealand and Lolland-Falster, 54% support the link, 8% are against it (a fall of 3%). 28% are neutral.

In Skåne, 50% are positive (+2%), 2% are negative, 28% are neutral while 19% don’t know.

In northern Germany (Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein) 35%  (+1%) are positive, 13% (-1%) are negative and 43% are neutral.

All changes are within the survey’s range of statistical uncertainty and cannot be interpreted as a trend.

There is a widespread interest in following the project: in Denmark, 57% say they are interested in following the project to a greater or lesser extent. In Sweden, the figure is 56, while 61% of the Germans surveyed are interested.

Attitudes to the project very much depend on the knowledge that the respondents have about the project: the more informed people feel, the greater the percentage of positives. Among those who know about the project, 61% are positive in Zealand, 72% in Skåne and 43% in northern Germany.

The public consultation, which is part of the German approval process, is about to enter a decisive phase, which means that the link will feature in the media over the coming months.

It is, therefore, interesting to look at German attitudes in particular:

46% of the male respondents in Germany are positive about the link compared to 26% of women. The longer the education and the higher the incomes the respondents have, the more positive they are towards the link.

The link’s impact on tourism has also been a major discussion topic in Germany. 54% of those surveyed believe that the link will benefit tourism.

Overall, there is a clear impression in all three countries that the link will have a positive effect on socio-economic conditions such as trade, transport, competitiveness and job creation.

When asked about their own actions following the opening of the link, only very few believe that the link will get them to take up a job or move to the other side of the link. However, 30% expect to do more shopping, 40% believe that they will travel more/more often to the “other side”.

The survey was conducted by YouGov analysis institute. Over the period 18-30 May 2017, a total of 508 interviews were conducted on Zealand, 508 in Skåne and 808 in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. The respondents were aged 18+. All interviews were collected on-line (CAWI). The results have been weighted against the total population based on an ideal from Denmark, Sweden and Germany and are thus representative of the population in the region.