6 th Transport Community Ministerial Council – EU Standards and Infrastructure Projects to Connect the Western Balkans and Closer Association with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova

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www.transport-community.org

Brussels, 15.11.2022 – The 6th Ministerial Council of the Transport Community took place in Brussels today, hosted by the European Commission. The Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean welcomed the Western Balkans ministers in charge of transport, representatives of the EU Member States and ministers in charge of transport from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, for the endorsement of the Joint Statement on closer association to the Transport Community.

“The joint statement we endorse today marks a watershed moment! It is a first step in a process that I sincerely believe should lead to the eventual expansion of the Transport Community Treaty to include Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia  as full members. In the meantime, and as of tomorrow, we will ensure that the three countries are fully associated in the work of the Transport Community,” said Commissioner Adina Vălean.

Western Balkans ministers endorsed the Second Progress Report on the implementation of EU acquis in the region. “Our Action Plans are guiding the Western Balkans in delivering safer, smart, and sustainable roads, a reliable, modern, and interoperable rail system, and reduced queuing times at borders. The report gives an objective view on measures taken and necessary actions in the coming period with timelines and coordination mechanisms in five sectors – rail market opening, facilitation of border/common crossing point procedures, infrastructure maintenance, ITS strategic framework, and establishing the Road Safety Observatory for the Western Balkans,” Director of the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat Matej Zakonjšek said.

Publication of the Second Annual TEN-T report marks another milestone in monitoring development of transport infrastructure in the region and provides a consolidated forecast of developments by 2027. “Construction of new transport infrastructure and the upgrading of existing infrastructure financed by the EU is ongoing in the entire region. While the focus remains on the Core Network upgrade, it is essential that infrastructure maintenance also improves in order not to undermine the progress achieved so far. Coordinated efforts are needed from all regional partners, as clearly shown by the findings and conclusions of this year’s report,” Zakonjšek said.

Establishing closer cooperation in the transport sector between the European Union, the Western Balkans and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine is an important step further in development of international transport in Europe, that could further support transport connectivity, improve the efficiency and safety of transport, and achieve the objectives of green and sustainable mobility. Sustainable transport is a cornerstone of economic and social integration of all the parties involved.

Action Plans and the EU Acquis Progress https://www.transport-community.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Action-Plans-Progress-Report.pdf

Development of Indicative TEN-T Extensions of the Comprehensive and Core Networks in Western Balkans https://www.transport-community.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/TEN-T-Report_2022.pdf