Cooperation of the Baltic States in the implementation of the Rail Baltica project

Kristiāns Andžāns

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This study aims to explain the Baltic States' cooperation in the rail transport infrastructure project Rail Baltica. The study has been based on a comprehensive range of materials – theoretical framework, project-related documents, and other information sources. Qualitative research methods have been applied to develop this study. The study has been conducted within the framework of Liberal intergovernmentalism, initially developed by Andrew Moravcsik. Using the analytical lens of this theory, it was possible to analyze the Rail Baltica project's development at different levels, thus explaining its long and convoluted plot. This study explores how project development took place on three levels - the national level, the Baltic States, and the European level. Although the project's implementation will link the Baltics with the European standard gauge rail line network, it was not easy to agree on the project's need. As it is a transnational project, it was first necessary to convince its need at the national level. Throughout the project, it was accompanied by national conflicts from various interest groups. For example, in Latvia, there was pressure to build a high-speed railway to Moscow instead. There was a will to abandon the project altogether in Lithuania after a European gauge connection was constructed from Kaunas to Poland. While in Estonia view on the project's implementation was more positive. Therefore, the project included a lot of state to state bargaining to move forward. As most of the project is funded by the European Union, the European Commission has pushed national governments to form a common approach, even by threatening to suspend its support if consensus cannot be reached. Thus, the Baltic States' common position was essential to further present it at the European level and bargain for better financing conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventRSU Research week 2021: PLACES - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 25 Mar 202125 Mar 2021
Conference number: 2


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: PLACES
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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