EU-Financed Peripheral Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects and the White Elephant Syndrome: The Example of Rail Baltica

Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 1, June 2018

16 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018

See all articles by Viljar Veebel

Viljar Veebel

Tallinn University of Technology (TUT)

Illimar Ploom

Tallinn University of Technology

Raul Markus

Tallinn University of Technology (TUT)

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The present article revolves around the question of the appropriateness of “the white elephant syndrome” to characterize the nature of the planned trans-Baltic railway project Rail Baltica in terms of its initial financing, long-term profitability and symbolic importance. Whereas in general the expected outcome of the project goes well together with the EU Cohesion Policy goals, in its concrete application Rail Baltica could serve as an example of the tendency of politicians and public servants to institutionally lock in to certain irrational choices about publicly financed mega-projects, thus making it possible to speak about the white elephant syndrome. Can the effects of internalization and Europeanization change the nature of Rail Baltica?

Keywords: white elephant syndrome, European Union, structural funds, infrastructure, public policy

Suggested Citation

Veebel, Viljar and Ploom, Illimar and Markus, Raul, EU-Financed Peripheral Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects and the White Elephant Syndrome: The Example of Rail Baltica (2018). Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 1, June 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3296940

Viljar Veebel (Contact Author)

Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) ( email )

Ehitajate tee 5
Tallinn, 12618
Estonia

Illimar Ploom

Tallinn University of Technology ( email )

Ehitajate tee 5
Tallinn, 12618
Estonia

Raul Markus

Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) ( email )

Ehitajate tee 5
Tallinn, 12618
Estonia

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