A Timeline of NDPTL activities
With expansion of the European Union to Finland and Sweden in 1995 the European Union and Russian Federation acquired a 1,300 km common border. Wishing to consolidate stability, welfare and sustainable development in the Northern Europe and thereby promote security and development throughout the Union and its neighbouring areas, an international conference on the Barents region was arranged in Rovaniemi, Finland, in September 1997. Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen presented there a well outlined and ambitious concept of the Northern Dimension policy, which was clearly linked to EU´s external relations, the promotion of peace and stability. The Northern Dimension was envisaged to be a comprehensive strategy, an institutional framework and sufficient financial arrangements to bring all of the plans to fruition.
The initiative was presented in December 1997 at the EU Summit in Luxembourg, where it became an objective for entire EU. During the Finnish presidency of the EU, in November 1999, the first Foreign Minister´s Meeting of the Northern Dimension was held in Helsinki. The concept of the Northern
Dimension Policy was filled with concrete content. During the next Finnish Presidency of the EU in 2006 the Northern Dimension concept was revised, and the new policy documents were negotiated, transforming the initiative from the EU´s external policy into a co-operation platform between equal partners: EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland.
The Northern Dimension initiative developed with the idea of thematic Partnerships, working to implement the Northern Dimension strategy in different sectors: Environmental Partnership (NDEP), Partnership in Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS), Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) and Partnership on Culture (NDPC). The decision to establish the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) was taken on 28 October 2008 at the first Foreign Minister´s Meeting of the revised Northern Dimension in St. Petersburg. The major principles of the NDPTL are stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all member countries and European Commission on the High Level Meeting in Naples on 21 October 2009. NDPTL is established for an initial period of five years (2010-14).
In the beginning of 2011, all formal structures were set up, finished by establishment of the NDPTL Secretariat.
In 2012 the Northern Dimension transport fund is created with donations from Finland, Norway and Germany.
In 2013 the first four NDPTL Support projects were approved for a total co-funding of EUR 1 million. The funded projects included planning of the road section Kajaani – Vartius in Finland, a feasibility study for the Intermodal Container Terminal in Gdansk/Gdynia, planning of the infrastructure up-grade of the Saimaa Canal as well as a feasiblity study for the new road section connecting the border-crossing point “Brusnichnoe” (Finnish-Russian border) to the Vyborg bypass.
In 2013 the NDPTL MoU is prolonged with five years for the 2015-2019 period.
In 2015 five new projects were granted funding from the NDPTL support fund for a total of EUR 1,7 million co-funding: an upgrade of Lithuania-Belarus border transit, planning new port in Narvik, Umeå-Vasa port upgrade, Port of Gdansk continuation as well as planning the upgrade of the Luleå port and fairways (“Malmporten”).
In 2018 an independent study was commissioned by EU Commission to review the completed work of NDPTL. The study recommended continuing and strengthening the partnership.
In 2019 the partnership agreed to renew the NDPTL Memorandum of Understanding and extended the mandate of the organization for another five years from 2019 to 2024/2025 as well as adopted the NDPTL Road Map 2019-2024.
In 2021 NDPTL agrees on Road Map 2019-2024 as well as revised Rules of Procedure.