Transport Community Regional Steering Committee Reviews Key Policies and Initiatives at Its 22nd Meeting

SKOPJE – The 22nd Regional Steering Committee Meeting of the Transport Community gathered high-level transport representatives from the Western Balkans and the European Union to discuss transport policies and related projects for enhancing transport connectivity within the region and with the EU.

“Serving as a key platform for representatives of the Regional Partners from the Western Balkans and the European Union, this meeting not only addresses transport connectivity but also critical facets such as safety, environmental sustainability, and strategic alignment with EU standards. The outcomes of this meeting shall set the scene for the upcoming Ministerial Council meeting,” Committee Chairperson and State Counsellor for transport policy of the Ministry for Transport and Communications of North Macedonia, Ms Jasminka Kirkova, pointed out.

Committee Co-Chair and Director for Policy Coordination in the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, Ms Mona Bjorklund, pointed out that today’s meeting was framed by important developments at EU level, such as the proposed Growth Plan for the Region and the Commission’s 2023 Enlargement Reports. Both underline the importance of achieving sufficient progress with acquis alignment.

Thanking the Regional Steering Committee members for their dedication to the implementation of the Transport Community Treaty during the year, Mr Zakonjšek highlighted that today’s meeting serves as a preparation for the Ministerial Council meeting scheduled to take place in Skopje on 12 December.

In preparation for the annual Ministerial Council Meeting, to take place in Skopje on 12 December, the committee convened to discuss key activities and aspects of transportation and safety, beginning with a focus on the implementation of Dangerous Goods guidelines and underscoring the paramount importance of safety in handling hazardous materials during transportation. Additionally, a comprehensive progress report highlighted the need for further efforts to implement the Western Balkan Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which frames the region’s dedication to environmentally conscious and intelligent transportation systems.

To expand and enhance transportation networks, the committee officially endorsed the 2023 Development of Indicative TEN-T Extensions of the Comprehensive and Core Network in Western Balkans Report. Furthermore, committee members approved a draft concept for the Transport Community Green Summit in 2024, set to take place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This summit aims to address environmental challenges and promote sustainable practices within the transport sector. The meeting also covered updates on road safety initiatives, legal alignments with European frameworks, and operational developments concerning the Transport Observatory Database Information System, reflecting a commitment to efficient transport operations in the region. The session concluded with discussions on administrative matters, including adopting the budget and work programme for next year, changes to the reimbursement rules, and the designation of an external auditor.

About the Regional Steering Committee

The Regional Steering Committee (RSC) ensures proper implementation of the Transport Community Treaty, takes decisions in the cases provided for in the Treaty and prepares the work of the Ministerial Council. A South East European Party, currently North Macedonia, presides in turn over the RSC in accordance with the arrangements laid down in the rules of procedure. The chairperson convenes the meetings at least twice a year to review the general functioning of the Treaty and, whenever circumstances so require, at the request of a Contracting Party.