Cantabrian regions will analyze rail, electricity and gas connections

By: News Team

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Cantabrian regions will analyze rail, electricity and gas connections

The Cantabrian regions that are part of the Atlantic Arc Commission will analyze this Monday in Vitoria strategies to promote rail, electric, gas and hydrogen connections between these communities and with Europe, a meeting in which one of the central issues that will be on the table will be the high speed of the Atlantic corridor and the delay of the French section.

The meeting has been convened by the lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, who has chaired this Commission since 2020, which includes several Atlantic regions of Portugal, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom and France, in which approximately 60 million people live and which works so that these areas are not relegated with respect to other European corridors.

In Spain the regions included in the Atlantic Arc are Euskadi, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Navarra and Andalusia, although in tomorrow’s meeting only the communities of the Cantabrian coast will participate.

The lehendakari will meet at the Palace of Ajuria Enea, his official residence, with the presidents of Asturias, Adrián Barbón; from Galicia, Alfonso Rueda, and from Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla, who will later appear before the media in a joint press conference.

THE RAIL CORRIDOR

There will be talk of the Northwest Atlantic Rail Corridor that, as recently pointed out by the Xunta de Galicia, must have a specific treatment and not be “diluted” in the infrastructure planned to connect Algeciras with the north. This community demands that the central government multiply by eight the planned investment.

The Cantabrian Government has also highlighted the need to unite all communities in northern Spain with the Atlantic corridor.

From Asturias, its Government has made it clear that its priority in railway matters is the commissioning of the Pajares Variant that will enable the arrival of high speed and connect the Asturian ports with the Atlantic Corridor, but also the concern about the delay of the connection of this corridor with France.

The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has recently highlighted that the central government’s commitment to the Mediterranean and Atlantic Corridor is the same as evidenced by the funding that both projects will receive to be developed in parallel.

THE CONNECTION WITH FRANCE

Another central issue will be the connection with France of the future Basque railway “Y” that was planned for 2030 but that the French Government has delayed to 2042.

The Basque Government considers that the EU should ask France for explanations for this delay and offer guarantees to the Member States to conclude this connection in 2030.

For his part, the commissioner for the Atlantic Corridor of the Ministry of Transport, José Antonio Sebastián, has assured this week that the rail connection with France “has to be” because it is included in the bilateral treaty signed last January by Presidents Pedro Sánchez and Emmanuel Macron.

The European Commission has already announced that “in the coming weeks” it will maintain contacts with the French authorities to “clarify” the delays in high-speed connections with Spain through the Atlantic corridor.

THE GREEN AND BLUE TRANSITION

In addition to rail, energy and gas interconnections, the agenda of the meeting includes other joint areas of action related to the green, digital and socio-demographic transition, sources from the Basque Government have confirmed.

In May 2022, San Sebastian hosted the general assembly of the Atlantic Arc Commission and on that occasion all the member European regions participated.

A declaration was adopted in which the Commission called on the institutions of the European Union and national governments to achieve “a genuine blue and green transition in the Atlantic area”.

The regions underlined the importance of this Atlantic axis to promote a “sustainable blue economy” through the production of renewable energy from wind, tides and waves and activities such as sustainable fisheries, transport, trade, tourism and renewable energy.

They called for more investment programs for sustainable transport networks and corridors that connect all regions and defended the creation of an Atlantic maritime macro-region to achieve greater coordination.

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