Transport Community’s Regional Steering Committee Convenes to Discuss Key Transport Policy Issues

BRUSSELS – The 23rd Meeting of the Regional Steering Committee of the Transport Community took place in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, 3 April, addressing crucial policy matters aimed at enhancing transport networks and cooperation within the Western Balkans and between the region and the European Union.

Opening the meeting, Committee Chairperson and State Counsellor for Transport Policy of the Ministry for Transport and Communications of North Macedonia, Ms Jasminka Kirkova, pointed out that after a successful meeting they had in Skopje in December last year, she is happy to meet the colleagues from the region and the EU to further discuss safety, environmental sustainability, and adoption EU standards in the filed of transport.

Regional Steering 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 the importance of the Transport Community cooperation as a vehicle to support the European perspective of all participants. Recent positive enlargement dynamics make it vital to put acquis alignment on a much more solid basis, she underlined.

Highlighting fruitful cooperation between the Transport Community’s Permanent Secretariat and the Regional Steering Committee, Transport Community’s Permanent Secretariat Director, Mr Matej Zakonjšek, underlined that the work of the Secretariat during 2024 will continue focusing on further advancements of regional cooperation in the transport sector, with a specific focus on reforms and connectivity projects.

The meeting commenced with the adoption of a decision regarding the revision of Annex I of the Transport Community Treaty (TCT) aimed at the implementation of new European legislation.

Key agenda items included discussions on the development of indicative Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) extensions in the Western Balkans, along with updates on the preparation of Next Generation TCT Action Plans for the period 2024-2027 and information on the preparation of the biannual review of the five-year Rolling Work Plan.

The Permanent Secretariat also presented outcomes and follow-ups from completed studies and technical assistance efforts in 2023/2024, including reports on road safety and climate resilience measures in the Western Balkans which both were endorsed by the Regional Steering Committee.

Reports were presented on the state of play on sustainable and decarbonised airports in the Western Balkans, operationalisation of the Western Balkans – Eastern Mediterranean European Transport Corridor and cooperation initiatives with observing participants.

Looking ahead, preparations for the Green Mobility Summit to take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 6-7 June were discussed, underscoring the commitment to promoting environmentally friendly transport solutions and regional cooperation efforts in this regard.

RSC members also acknowledged and endorsed the Transport Community’s Annual Operational Report for 2023.

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.