Helsinki-Tallinn as well as Öresund are important crossborder regions contributing to the economical development of themselves as well as the Baltic region as a whole. Creating a Helsinki-Tallinn transport corridor has long been in spotlight. To succeed in this goal, a lot can be learned from Öresund experience. The latter shows that for creating strong crossborder transport systems, hard infrastructure must be developed at first, after which focus can be set on soft infrastructure; Öresund region has also started to address challenges that have not yet emerged as significant political issues in the Helsinki-Tallinn region. The greatest difference between the two is a fixed link between Sweden and Denmark that drives regional integration and is missing between Helsinki and Tallinn.

The study reveals following regarding transport development planning in Helsinki-Tallinn region:

  • Instability of collaboration between parties and the development of collaboration depending on international European funding while local funding has been poor
  • Different interest groups have different views on moving on from project based cooperation towards a more permanent one
  • Practices in planning differ in the two countries, decision-making being much more quick in Estonia than in Finland
  • Financial capabilities of Estonian and Finnish parties differ, especially so on national level
  • The most significant problem in transport development planning is the lack of a clear vision about the development of the region

To benefit from the Öresund experience, the study gives recommendations that focus on the gaps, as well as the strengths, of the crossborder transport systems in the two regions. Based on the successful model presented by the Öresund region, the recommendations are focused primarily on the lessons that could be adopted to replicate some of its successes:

  • A crossborder agency based on an observatory function and issues clearinghouse should be developed
  • First aim should be for ‘low hanging fruit’ or easy collaboration opportunities
  • Information platforms should be created
  • A platform for stakeholder meetings that is semi-independent from the stakeholders themselves should be created
  • Informal working groups at the functional level should be created
  • The value proposition to stakeholders should be identified and this turned into a vision for the region