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MATROS: Maritime Transport in the Baltic Sea

Type of Entry: Project
Website: www.utu.fi/erill/mkk/matros.html
Duration: 01/07/1999 - 31/06/2001


The Matros project has been to develop a common strategic framework for maritime transport in the Baltic Sea Region, taking into account the specific spatial structure of the Baltic Sea Region and the role of port cities in regional development and the dependence of maritime transport on specific port –hinterland connections. The concept was based on a thorough assessment of the present maritime system, including its environmental impacts and expected trends.

The project is based on the following five elements:

  • A common understanding of driving forcesand challenges
  • The basic values and objectives
  • A vision for maritime transport in the Baltic Sea Region
  • A strategy
  • A short term action programme

The vision as well as all other components of the common strategic framework shall be realistic and based on understanding and facts. Therefore it has been essential for the project to establish a good factual bases for recommendations and proposals.

The ports of Copenhagen, Gdansk, Helsinki, and Liepaja have been study cases in the project. The purpose of the studies has been to give some good examples of port planning but also to provide a deeper understanding of the challenges of planning, democratic dialogue, communication, and interaction between different planning levels and sectors.


  • Deploy actors in many roles and of manypolicy sectors to ensure deliberate and concerted action
  • The challenge of our vision, our analysesclearly shows, calls for cross sectoral and transnational strategic action.
  • The institutions of the BSR maritimesystem should move in the direction of clarifying the policy role of defining the rules of the game as well as clarifying the rules themselves. This role would have to be clearly separated from the role of policy actors as players in the game.
  • The future Baltic Sea should be an openarena for sea transport meeting criteria for fair play and code of conduct that are jointly agreed upon. However, the openness of the BSR should not prevent efficient safety and environmental policies to be pursued.
  • Consistent and well-defined regulatoryframeworks, supported by efficient institutions and clearly communicated to all actors using the Baltic Sea maritime transport system, are fundamental for moving towards the vision.
  • A common framework for the provisionand charging of maritime related infrastructure (fairways, ports, ice- breaking assistance etc) should be defined for the BSR with due regard to EU principles and policy.
  • Alternative corridor structures for bulkgoods in the BSR should be evaluated with due consideration to environmental issues, external effects and changing policy frameworks.
Keywords: Transport
Contact: VASAB
Partner: VASAB Secretariat, Gdansk
Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark
Ministry of the Environment, Estonia
Ministry of Transport and Communications, Estonia
Ministry of the Environment, Finland
Ministry of Transport and Communications, Finland
Centre for Maritime Studies, University of Turku
Ministry of the Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Latvia
Latvian Transport Education and Research Centre, Riga
Ministry of Environment Lithuania
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany
Ministry of Labour and Building, Regional Planning Development, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Baltic Institute, University of Rostock
TFK Gmbh, Transport and Logistics consultants, Hamburg
Governmental Centre for Strategic Studies, Poland
International Centre for Social and Economic Research, “Leontief Centre”, St Petersburg
Swedish Maritime Administration, Norrköping
Swedish Institute for Transport and Communications analysis (SIKA), Stockholm
Swedish Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket), Karlskrona
Institute of Shipping Analysis (SAI), Gothenburg
Financed by: European Union