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
Date Written: 2018
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
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