As we start a new year, it’s the time for setting up the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat’s forward-looking ambition for 2024. The past year was a great journey in terms of growth and development, particularly in the revision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the integration of the Western Balkan transport into the European network. The newly established Western Balkans – Eastern Mediterranean European Transport Corridor will need to be operationalised this year. 2024 will be a decisive year, with a focus on sustainable and green mobility, a sector burgeoning with potential and necessity.
We have already started preparing the much-anticipated Summit on “Sustainable and Green Mobility” in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will take place before the summer break. This Summit is envisioned as more than just a congregation; it’s fertile ground for seeding dialogue, and catalysing actions centred on electrification, alternative fuel infrastructure, energy efficiency, and building resilient infrastructures. This summit will be a unique platform that brings together diverse stakeholders – from the Western Balkans to EU Member States and from international financial institutions to grassroots innovators – all converging to script the next chapter in sustainable mobility across the region.
Central to our mission, this year will mark the roll-out of the NextGeneration Action Plans 2024-2027. These plans are not just blueprints but bold statements of intent, covering a comprehensive spectrum of transport modalities, including roads, railways, road safety, transport facilitation, waterborne transport, and multimodality. Created by the engagement of TCT Technical Committees, the European Commission, EU Member States, and experts from the field, the new plans will contain additional measures specifically tailored to enhance environmental sustainability and promote the greening of the transport sector. The Next Gen Action Plans should be ready for endorsement by the Ministerial Council of the Transport Community by the end of this year.
This year, we are hoping to see the revision of the Transport Community Treaty, which will build upon the lessons learned after five years of the Treaty being in force and, based on the Joint Statement of the Ministerial Council of the Transport Community, see how we can integrate observers – Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia – even closer to the work of the organisation.
We continue championing data-driven policy development, recognising its crucial role in shaping effective and responsive transport policies. The Western Balkan Transport Observatory (TODIS) enters its operational phase this year, promising to be a source of data and insights that will be invaluable in guiding our project trajectories and policy formulations. Our commitment is to support our regional partners across all transport sectors. We aim to rise to the challenges, offering even more resources to solutions and comprehensive support through workshops, in-depth training sessions, and expert-led discussions, raising the administrative capacity of our contracting parties on all levels.
Finance and financing of different projects will continue featuring prominently in the work of the Transport Community. After launching the Safe and Sustainable Transport Programme (SSTP) last December, we will ensure that this year, the programme starts delivering on its promise of financing projects in the field of road safety, improvement of border crossings, and green mobility.
In summary, 2024 stands on the horizon as a year of transformation and progress. Driven by our mission and dedication to integrating the Western Balkan transport markets into the EU framework, we remain focused on sustainability, innovation, and collaborative growth. This year, we don’t just move forward; with our Summit on Sustainable and Green Mobility, we leap towards a greener, more connected, and relentlessly innovative future.
To access our Annual Work Programme, please click here.
Happy New Year!
Transport Community’s Permanent Secretariat Director