Press release: Industry expects massive damage to reputation due to the delay threatening the Fehmarnbelt link – German, Danish and Swedish chambers and associations insist that the railway line is opened by 2029

On no account may the current austerity measures of the Federal Government jeopardise the realisation of the future rail link between Germany and Denmark. The completion of the connection on the German side of the Fehmarnbelt fixed link, which was originally planned for 2029, is anything but certain. This warning was given by the members of the Fehmarnbelt Business Council (FBBC) following a meeting in Copenhagen. Industry therefore now expects a reliable commitment to the date of completion of the hinterland connection including the tunnel under the Fehmarn Sound. The FBBC is an alliance of German, Danish and Swedish chambers and trade associations.

It welcomes Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) clear statement that it will continue to pursue expansion and new construction projects in spite of the constraints on the federal budget. In the FBBC’s opinion, however, this does not yet constitute grounds to relax in view of the numerous uncertainties, above all in view of the hugely complex planning process required. On the contrary, there are fears in the industry that a further delay to the crossing on the German side would massively damage Germany’s image, according to the FBBC. Furthermore, in Northern Europe the Federal Republic would risk its status as a reliable partner if the connection were not completed on the German side by 2029. The companies in Denmark, Germany and Sweden that have been expecting an opening in 2029 when making their investments would lose out, it said. The FBBC concluded that closer economic ties between Germany and Scandinavia thanks to the Fehmarnbelt link would open up enormous economic opportunities for the entire Nordic region.

Background: Completion of the Fehmarnbelt fixed link is currently scheduled for 2029. The infrastructure project is intended to better connect and open up the Scandinavian economic region to northern Germany. In order to ensure the success of this project, efficient hinterland connections (road and rail) are crucial. Only if they exist can goods and people be transported rapidly and sustainably between the metropolitan regions of Hamburg and the entire Øresund region – and beyond.

Funds which had been earmarked for building the rail connection, inter alia, are now being allocated elsewhere due to the financial cuts in the federal budget. DB has estimated that the urgently needed additional funding for the infrastructure will amount to 45 billion euros by 2027. The current federal budget fails to take this into account, earmarking just 12.1 billion euros for the railway. The funds available are to be used primarily to maintain and modernise the existing network.

Contact person for the press:                                                              

Dr. Can Özren                                     Email:                    oezren@ihk-luebeck.de
Press spokesperson                              Telephone:            +49 451 6006-160 
Lübeck Chamber of Commerce             Mobile:                 +49 175 4394722