The Mediterranean Sea is the scene where the activities of RAM take place; it has a strategic role within the European transport network, for it connects the TEN-T corridors with the Trans-Mediterranean Network – Transport (TMN – T). The importance of the Mediterranean Region for Italy and Europe is supported by several socio-economic indicators, among which:
- the central role it has in the traffic of containers and in the global sea traffic in general (approximately 20% of the latter is moved across the Mediterranean Sea)
- the predominance of the sea transport mode in terms of both incoming and outgoing traffic of goods
- the strong growth recently reported by the Short Sea Shipping (SSS)
The influence of these factors, destined to increase even more in the future, can be explained with the significant works completed in Mediterranean ports over the last few years, first of all the enlargement of the Suez Canal, which is leading to reconceive the oceanic routes, in particular between Europe and the Far East.
The strategic location of the Mediterranean Sea is central in the European transport politics, its 1014-2020 funding phase and the new CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) financing system. These tools aim at promoting the development of the Trans-European Network – Transport (TEN-T) and the consolidation of the Mediterranean network.
In this scenario, Italy can have a central role. A good four out of nine main corridors connecting Europe longitudinal-wise cross our Country:
- the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor
- the Mediterranean Corridor
- the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor
- the Rhine-Alpine Corridor
Most of the activity is carried out by RAM so that these corridors can have natural access to the Southern Mediterranean Countries. This way, the Motorways of the Sea will be able to provide the European transport network with short-range maritime connections supporting and empowering cross-Mediterranean business relationships, and turning the shipping of goods into economic and labour growth in the territories involved.
RAM is playing a significant role in different Euro-Mediterranean strategic activities and initiatives, among which EUSAIR, UfM, GTMO 5+5, CETMO, Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue, which are meant to support and facilitate business exchange between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean Countries, and to satisfy the increasing traffic flows EU-Middle-Far East coming from the Suez Canal.