Fittingly, it is ‘European Year of Rail’
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The Provinces of Groningen and Friesland are dressing up their deputies and sending them to lobby at the EU on behalf of the Lelylijn high-speed rail project. Deputies Fleur Gräper and Avine Fokkens will begin their lobbying efforts in Amsterdam today, abroad the special ‘Connecting Europe Express’ train. As reported by RTV Noord.
The train is an effort by the European Commission to allow politicians from EU member states to mingle with commissioners and EU staff, and the deputies from Groningen and Friesland want to use the opportunity to gain backing for both the Lelylijn and the ‘Wunderline’.
“We’d like to try and get the Amsterdam to Groningen link considered part of the ‘main’ European rail network”, says Gräper, “and we want that to lead to some investments into various rail projects and innovations.”
Both Provinces are united in their belief that the Lelylijn and Wunderline would improve connectivity in Europe; creating a direct link between Amsterdam and Bremen.
The case of the Northern Provinces might be strengthened by the recent German elections, with both the SPD and Green parties including better rail links and connections in their manifestos. Meanwhile, the FDP (who may join the SPD and Greens in government) are known to be generally pro-business and pro-infrastructure improvement.