Via Carpathia is a conventional name of a new transport corridor connecting North and South of Europe, integrating transport systems of Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. The potential of Via Carpathia may benefit many transport routes, within and outside the EU, also those leading to the Balkans. The road is designed to branch out to Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey, reaching from the Baltic sea Polish harbors (Tricity) to both – Black Sea and Aegean Sea.
Poland is deeply involved in implementing policies directed at developing Carpathian macroregion, including initiatives aiming at improvement of communication on the north-south axis. The idea behind the transit route Via Carpathia goes back to October 2006, when – on the initiative of the Polish government – transport ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia signed the first joint Łańcut Declaration committing governments to include the Via Carpatia to priorities of national transport policies. In 2010, three more countries joined: Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. In February 2018 minister of infrastructure of Poland Andrzej Adamczyk announced that Belarus, BiH, Croatia and Serbia are also willing to join the project.
Via Carpathia is a key trans-European transport investment project, which will help incorporate less developed regions to the mainstream international trade exchange and unlock their growth potential. It will open this part of Europe to external markets, such as Ukraine, Turkey or the Balkan states, allowing for placing transport terminals and logistic centers in Via Carpathia states. Many companies will emerge along the route, creating investment opportunities and jobs. The development of Via Carpathia route will also strengthen border and regional security and enhance the role of the whole Central European region.
Implementation of Via Carpathia in each of interested states varies, depending on the geographical conditions, complexity of construction and access to EU funding. Poland announced that already in 2025 the entire Polish section of the route – the S19 expressway – will be ready for use. “Creation of Via Carpathia trail fits in with the progressing economic, social and territorial cohesion of Europe. I am sure of its important positive value for the whole Europe, especially for its central and eastern part, a deepened cooperation within the Carpathians region, in which the Via Carpathia trail will lead a decisive role and will be a lever of development”, the Polish minister of infrastructure explains.