The government has approved the regulations of Suprainstitutional Coordination Council of project Rail Baltica in Riga

9. November, 2017

On Tuesday, at the Cabinet of Ministers meeting of 7 November, the government has approved the regulations of Suprainstitutional coordination council of project Rail Baltica in Riga, which aims at timely involvement of competent authorities and other stakeholders for the implementation of project Rail Baltica in Riga contributing to the comprehensive and smooth development of areas affected by the project, informs the Ministry of Transport. 

The key task of the council is to assess the project-related situation within Riga City and to propose recommendations for optional developments in Riga. The council shall also advocate the cooperation of these authorities regarding optional developments in Riga, identify shortcomings which hinder harmonious development of Riga and Rail Baltica, propose recommendations to competent authorities to address these issues. The council shall also suggest sources of short-term and long-term fundraising.

In order to implement the Rail Baltica project in Riga it shall be supported by a comprehensive approach considering various aspects of the Rail Baltica project, Riga City, fundraising and planning, heritage preservation and urban planning in order to put the envisaged ideas into effect according to the interests of general society and building cooperation between the relevant stakeholders in a socially responsible, smart and well-considered manner. The implementation of proposed Rail Baltica solutions in Riga, especially those related to urban infrastructure transformations, significantly depends on the cooperation between governmental and municipal authorities and the approval (involvement) of stakeholders.

The Council shall act as an advisory authority in order to support harmonised cooperation of the various party to put the various project related options in project-affect areas in Riga into effect. Such cooperation highly relies on the competence of each authority represented in the Council. Considering this, the regulations approved by the Cabinet of Ministers stipulate that the Council shall initially resolve issues at closed meetings, which, as the case may be, shall be attended by invited experts, NGO representatives, along with representatives of other councils, commissions, and task forces established to promote the development of Riga and Rail Baltica project. The council shall have the rights to communicate with mass media, e.g., it can provide information about the resolved solutions at the meetings, allowing for information transfer to the society about the implementation measures of Rail Baltica project. According to the regulations, the task of the council is to analyse in depth the situation regarding integrated development of Riga city and the project, and come with recommendations to competent authorities, such as governmental and municipal authorities, and private right subjects, the interests of which might be affected by the project.

The Council brings together representatives of the ministries of Culture, Finance, Justice, Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Prime Minister's Office, Riga municipality, Riga Construction Board, Riga City Architect's Office, AS RB Rail, SIA Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, VAS Latvijas dzelzceļš, State Railway Technical Inspectorate, Council for Preservation and Development of Riga Historical Centre, National Council of Architecture, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Association of spatial planners of Latvia, and the University of Latvia. The chairman of the Council of Mr Uldis Augulis, the Minister of Transport, while the co-chairman is Mr Nils Ušakovs, the Mayor of Riga.

As already reported, the first meeting of the Suprainstitutional Coordination Council of Rail Baltica project in Riga was held on 1 November and defined particular segments of work for the harmonious development of urban environment: Central railway station and related infrastructure, Torņakalns multimodal centre and related infrastructure, as well as other Rail Baltica infrastructure crossing in Riga.