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Transport Policy as a Way to Strengthen Geostrategic Position – A Review of Vienna as a Centre of Air and High-Speed Rail Transport in Central Europe
František Stellner , Marek Vokoun, Pavel Szobi, Marek Kasa
Keywords:geopolitics, economic policy, passenger transport, Austria, airport


Vienna’s geostrategic importance fluctuated through the ages because of the power clashes and subsequent political and socio-economic impacts on the population. This paper assesses its current position in a historical context and then focuses more on the socio-economic dimensions such as interconnectedness and other transport aspects of the geostrategic position. Air and environmentally friendlier modes of passenger transport like high-speed rail are considered and analysed in the European context. This paper also reviews the results and issues dealing with the development of the Vienna Airport and the progress of high-speed railway projects in the Central European Economies (CEEs) after the European Union’s enlargement in 2004. The results suggest that after a restoration period of Vienna’s geostrategic position between 1995–2005, there is currently only a moderate and slowly growing exercise of power, control or influence over the CEEs. The results suggest that there is competition from busier German hub airports as well as the growing importance of CEE airports in transit and growing passenger transport performance figures. The lack of environmentally friendly high-speed infrastructure as a viable option instead of the fastest air travel is preventing Vienna to strengthen its strategic position. Its strategic importance is highly affected by the underdeveloped transport networks in CEEs and the future development of the Vienna Airport as a major transport hub.


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