Dear visitor, allow me to share with you the vision of our organisation.
The citizens of the Western Balkans expect their governments to provide them with sustainable connectivity and for that we need to build, rehabilitate, and connect the transport infrastructure, based on a forward-looking transport policy. With the main focus on improving the transport links between the EU and the Western Balkans, the Transport Community plays a crucial role in achieving this goal.
In 2022, our organisation grew and now, in addition to the European Union member states represented by the European Commission and the six Western Balkans regional partners (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia), includes the three observing participants (Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine).
We are ready to face new challenges as we continue assisting our partners to adopt and implement the EU legislation in the field of transport and supporting connectivity projects that are bringing our citizens closer to each other. At the same time, we need to strengthen our efforts to reform transport policies, adopt and implement the European acquis, and deliver on the Connectivity Agenda reforms. Projects and policy are two sides of the same coin.
Under the guidance of the Regional Steering Committee, we are working to realise our joint priorities:
1) We need to put the rail back on track(s) in the Western Balkans and make rail travel possible and attractive for our citizens again. We should invest in rail systems and support multimodal solutions in the region in order to move as much cargo from roads to rail, as well as to better use inland waterway and maritime transport. This will help business, make the air cleaner and roads safer.
2) There should be no more dead or seriously injured because of accidents on our roads (and railway crossings). The Transport Community has a mission to help make roads safer for everybody. This is our sacred duty and my personal commitment.
3) Transportation of goods and mobility of people should be seamless and safe. Borders should not be a source of frustration and delays, but symbols of good neighbourly relations. Our citizens, visitors, and business wait too long at the border crossings, especially at the ones with the EU countries. We should build on the good practices of Green Lanes, and continue extending them to borders with the EU. This should ultimately lead to integrated border crossing points – the best way of reducing waiting time and increasing capacities.
4) Traveling and transporting goods should be faster, cheaper, healthier and, for passengers, also more enjoyable. We can do that by investing in sustainable infrastructure and connect our roads, rail, ports, and airports in the Trans European Network, and specifically in the upcoming Western Balkans – Eastern Neigbourhood Transport Corridor.
5) With the Transport Community Treaty we have committed to base the transport policy on European legislation and standards. This will pave the way to seamless integration into the EU’s transport market, which will in turn offer new business opportunities.
These priorities are based on agreed political declarations, action plans, and joint commitments by all parties of the Transport Community and observing participants. Now is the time for implementation.
* 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.