26 October – Four Action Plans of the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat were unanimously endorsed at the Ministerial Council held today online. The key documents on rail, roads, road safety and transport facilitation are a step-by-step guide on how to achieve common political priorities of Western Balkans regional partners, as well as political objectives of the Transport Community Treaty. The documents form a base for Transport Community’s future engagement in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the Ministerial Council, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, welcomed the constructive role of the Permanent Secretariat, particularly noting the success of the Green Lanes initiative and concrete support provided by the EC Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. The European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean highlighted the positive effects of transport facilitation in the region, especially during COVID-19 crisis when Green Lanes proved to be an excellent example of EU-WB cooperation. “These efforts should continue, especially in the light of new pandemic challenges,” Valean stated.

“We at Transport Community and our colleagues at CEFTA together with the European Commission and of course with all regional partners reacted quickly by establishing Green Lanes, which prioritised essential goods to pass our borders unobstructed and as fast as possible. When restrictions at the borders came up all around the world, in the Western Balkans we did not experience an increase in waiting time for essential goods”, Transport Community Director Matej Zakonjšek stated, adding that Action Plans are fully aligned with the European Commission’s plan.

Summary of Action Plans:

The Road Action Plan aims towards development of climate resilient, intelligent, and resource-efficient TEN-T road network in Western Balkans by incorporating green and smart elements in road investments. Our final aim is to stimulate innovative, low emission and fit for digital age road transport operations. Road Action Plan can be found on this link.

Transport Facilitation Action Plan will further strengthen regional cooperation. Creation of joint “one-stop-go” at internal and external border crossing points, coupled with better interaction of different transport modes along will enable smoother, more efficient, and less costly logistic chains. Transport Facilitation Action Plan can be found on this link.

The Rail Action Plan provides the basis for deeper integration with the EU rail market. A rail system which is safe, inclusive, reliable, environmentally and socially sustainable, and inter-connected within the region and with EU is the overarching aim of the Transport Community. Rail Action Plan can be found on this link.

Road Safety Action Plan promotes safety management, safer infrastructure, and protection of road users. Its actions strive to support the “zero deaths” objective, and to encourage regional best practice examples. Transport Community’s aim is to ensure that transport systems, no matter how they are configured, are safe, sustainable, and equitable. Road Safety Action Plan can be found on this link.