EC New Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan

News > Archive > 2011 > EC New Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan

On 7 July the European Commission published a Communication on “The EU and its neighbouring regions: A renewed approach to transport cooperation”. With this Communication, the Commission provides more details on the new EU Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan which sets out a policy framework for promoting transport infrastructure and market development in EU neighbouring countries. RIS is part of this policy

Transport cooperation with the EU's neighbouring regions has so far taken place under a number of bilateral and regional initiatives, i,.e. a transport regional initiative for neighbours to the South. This new action plan2 builds on the results achieved so far, strengthens in particular connections to the east and brings together regional transport cooperation into a single policy.

Some of the proposed EC key measures for connecting the transport systems of the EU and its neighbours include:
  • Joining up the Trans-European Transport Network with infrastructure of the EU's neighbours through priority transport projects;
  • Streamlining the implementation of regional transport cooperation, by establishing an Eastern Partnership Transport Panel to oversee cooperation with neighbours to the east
  • 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;
On inland navigation with relevance to  RIS the EC document states:

"The aim of the EU ́s inland navigation policy is to achieve efficient and sustainable waterway transport. It is important that the EU ́s neighbouring countries apply relevant international conventions to ensure equivalence with the EU levels of inland navigation safety as well as environmental and social conditions. The Commission will assist neighbouring countries in achieving these objectives.

In order to promote safety, efficiency and data exchange, the Commission will cooperate with the relevant neighbouring countries under the River Information Services.

As regards navigation on the Danube, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region proposes actions to exploit fully the market potential of inland navigation in the region that involves five neighbouring countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. The Commission supports the modernisation of the Danube Commission as part of the revised Belgrade Convention. The text of that Convention, to which the Commission has negotiated the EU ́s accession, has been agreed, but signature is still pending. The Commission encourages the two signatory States to resolve the dispute."

For full details of more than 20 measures set out in the Action plan see MEMO/11/488.