On January 25, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament’s PETI considered a petition to recognize Bydgoszcz as a node of the TEN-T core network. Łukasz Religa, president of the New Amber Trail, spoke on behalf of the petitioners.
The petition to the European Parliament was submitted in March 2022, in response to the European Commission’s proposal of December 2021, which did not include Bydgoszcz in the core network. The petition initiated by the New Amber Trail was supported by, among others: the Sejmik of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, the City Council of Bydgoszcz, the City Council in Solec Kujawski, the Nowa Wieś Wielka Commune Council, as well as the Association of Polish Regions of the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor and the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone.
Referring to the petition in December 2022, the EC pointed out that in order to discuss a core network one has to meet the criteria, which, in the EC’s view, Bydgoszcz does not meet.
– In the petition, we indicate that the Bydgoszcz node meets all the guidelines for the core network – said the president of the New Amber Trail – I want to clearly emphasize that we have indicated that we comply with the guidelines of the European Commission, because in the position of the EC of December 8 there is a suggestion that we want to change these guidelines, therefore, I would like to directly address these doubts. The European Commission indicates that in order to talk about core network nodes, one of three conditions must be met. One of such conditions is the location at the intersection or branching of the TEN-T core network railway lines. According to the proposal for the revision of the TEN-T network, which was presented by the European Commission a year ago, the Bydgoszcz node will be the intersection of two lines of the core network important for the Baltic-Adriatic corridor.
These are railway lines No. 131 to the port of Gdańsk and line No. 201 to the port of Gdynia. Moving on to the next argument expressed by the European Commission, i.e. the “proximity of the seaports of the core network”, I would like to emphasize that Bydgoszcz will be the first node in the TEN-T where the lines running from the seaports in Gdańsk and Gdynia connect. Bydgoszcz as the external gate of these ports will allow for the implementation of intermodal policies.
It was also mentioned that after the digging of the Vistula Spit, the sea port in Elbląg, which is also located in close proximity to Bydgoszcz, may gain in importance. The third potential condition for the core network is the proximity of inland navigation ports of the core network, however, due to the lack of European Union support for this form of transport in Poland, it is not taken into account in this case.
Support for the petition was explicitly expressed by: the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and the Greens.
– All these criteria must be respected, the problem is that we have differences in perspective. From the perspective of the European Commission, not all criteria are met, but from our perspective they are met. This is a discussion of facts – and facts should not be discussed and should be looked at. I call on the European Commission to look at this petition more carefully – postulated MEP Kosma Złotowski on behalf of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).