‘If we want to create real relations with our neighbours, we must first provide the infrastructure, which is crucial for the flow of goods and people through borders and to eliminate bureaucracy and “bottlenecks”.’ – said Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Transport, during the plan announcement.
On July 7, the European Commission announced ‘Neighbourhood Transport Plan’ covering the Eastern Partnership region among others. The plan covers 20 short- and long-term actions serving the improvement of transport connections. This is to serve increased integration of the Union market and neighbouring markets.
Among the main points of the Plan there were mentioned: extending the EU’s internal aviation market and Single European Sky to neighbouring regions; joining up the Trans-European Transport Network with infrastructure of the EU’s neighbours through priority transport projects; making better use of rail freight potential by opening markets and by alleviating technical barriers such as differences in rail gauge sizes; making sea transport with the neighbouring countries more efficient, including in the longer term, through their inclusion in the “Blue Belt” of free maritime movement in and around Europe; and supporting the neighbouring countries in the improvement of road safety.
The plan was presented by two EU Commissioners: Siim Kallas – Commissioner for Transport, who is also a Vice President of the European Commission, and Stefan Fule – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.
Within the framework of a ministerial conference in Krakow organised on October 24-25, 2011, under the Polish Presidency, a new Eastern Partnership panel for transport will be launched. The panel will oversee the implementation of actions to the East.
Read the Plan here.