EU and Eastern Partner Countries to cooperate in the field of transport

Date

2019 06 07

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A major advance towards cooperation in the fields of transport and logistics between the European Union (EU) and the Eastern Partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – was made in Luxembourg. A joint declaration on cooperation between the EU and the Eastern Partner countries was signed during the meeting of EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, aimed at strengthening road safety and improving transport links between the countries, as well as implementing priority TEN-T projects of extended trans-European transport network.

“Today, our Eastern partners are facing similar challenges as Lithuania and many other Central and Eastern European countries did before joining the EU in 2004, 2007 and 2013. Each Member State has its own success stories. In Lithuania’s case, our major success stories in the field of transport is road safety. During the last 20 years, with the help of our European friends, we have managed to decrease fatalities on our roads dramatically, by 80%. Our own experience made us to realise the complexity of this issue, therefore Lithuania remains a strong supporter of an ambitious and result-oriented Eastern Partnership policy”, said Ricardas Degutis, the Vice-Minister for the Transport and Communication of the Republic of Lithuania involved in the signing of the Declaration.

Establishment of indicative maps, set out in regulation of European Commission, for the extension of the TEN-T core network to the Eastern Partner countries is regarded in the declaration as an important achievement of European Neighbourhood Policy. On its basis, Eastern Partner countries are expected to set priority projects for the extended TEN-T core network, and strive to develop a technical assistance facility necessary for development and implementation of these projects. This will help to improve the connectivity of transport and logistics, and mobility of persons and goods across the European transport area.

The participants of the Joint Declaration acknowledge also the important role of the Eastern Partner Countries within the TEN-T policy in the wider context of the EU–Asia connectivity, in particular by promoting quality infrastructure and intermodal and multimodal connection projects which are economically, fiscally, environmentally and socially sustainable and which comply with rules of good governance.

The declaration also focuses on road safety. The participants will work towards the establishment of a Regional Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory, which should provide analytical support for adjusting the national road safety policies, strategies and annual action plans. The intention is to address concrete shortcomings and improve road safety in the Eastern Partner Countries.

„Beside hardware – roads, traffic signs, speed control systems, etc. – fighting corruption, better management of law enforcement agencies, public perception change through media and social campaigns are equally important. This is the reason why Lithuania took the leadership on organizing the next EaP Transport Panel in November in Vilnius, during which we will present our transport sector and discuss possibilities for further cooperation”, said the Vice-Minister Ricardas Degutis.