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Towards Connected Future: South East and East Europe Embrace Intelligent Transport Systems

www.transport-community.org

SKOPJE – The Western Balkan Regional Partners, Observing Participants, and EU counterparts, gathered the Regional Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Conference “Towards a Connected Future: Delivering Intelligent Transport Systems.” The conference, which took place from 12 to 13 December 2023 in Skopje, North Macedonia, discussed the transformative potential of ITS in the region.

The deployment of ITS technologies plays a crucial role in boosting transport efficiency, safety, and sustainability across the South East and East Europe. By fostering seamless connectivity, reducing congestion, improving road safety, and mitigating environmental impact, ITS solutions are anticipated to significantly contribute to the region’s socio-economic development.

The conference brought together a diverse group of experts, policymakers, and stakeholders in the field of ITS but also the ministers in charge of transport from across South East Europe. The conference featured insightful sessions and discussions, culminating in the signing of the Declaration on Intelligent Transport Systems by the Ministers in charge of transport from the Western Balkans and Observing Participants who pledged their commitment to the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems.

The first day hosted high-level speakers, including H.E. Mr Edin Forto, Minister of Communication and Traffic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,  H.E. Mr Liburn Aliu, Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure of Kosovo*, H.E. Mr Filip Radulović, Minister of Transportation and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro, H.E. Mr Blagoj Bochvarski, Minister of Transport and Communications of North Macedonia, and Mr Ami Kozeli, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania, Mr Guram Guramishvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, and Mr Mircea Păscăluță, Secretary of State for Transport of Moldova. The session was moderated by Mr Matej Zakonjšek, Director of the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat.

On the conference’s second day, the participants focused on technical sessions, featuring panels on Intelligent Solutions for Road Transport, Innovations in Rail Transportation and multimodality solutions, and Intelligent Solutions for Waterborne Transport.

The ITS Declaration, signed by the Ministers in charge of Transport, outlines a comprehensive commitment to the development and implementation of ITS. It underscores regional cooperation, data sharing and privacy, intermodal connectivity, sustainability, capacity building, international collaboration, and innovation and research. The declaration emphasises periodic review and update to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness.

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* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence