Southeast Europe Transport Community opens HQ in Belgrade

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The agreement on the headquarters of Transport Community Treaty Permanent Secretariat has been signed in Belgrade on Friday, the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, said in a statement.

It quoted the EU Delegation head Ambassador Sem Fabrizi as saying that the “decision to have Belgrade as the seat for the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community represents a great opportunity and responsibility for Serbia”.

“Today’s signature of the Headquarter agreement is another important step in implementing this Decision, and I congratulate the interim Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community Alain Baron and the Deputy Prime Minister Mihajlovic for their commitment”, he said.

Fabrizi added that “establishment of the Transport Community is of significant importance for the integration of transport markets of the South-East European partners into the EU transport market.

“It is a part of the ‘connectivity agenda’ improving transport, energy and digital links within the Western Balkans and with the EU, which has been endorsed and supported by the EU from the start. This is a key factor for growth and jobs and will bring clear benefits to the region’s economies and citizens”.The statement quoted him as reminding “that only in the past seven years, the EU has made up to five billion Euros of investments in the transport sector in the Western Balkans, of which the construction of the new Zezelj bridge and the on-going modernisation of the Nis-Dimitrovgrad railway are among the last most emblematic and visible successes in Serbia.”

“But it goes much further than that: great impacts of EU – Serbia and Western Balkans cooperation is when we deal with technical standards, interoperability, safety, security, traffic management, social policy, public procurement and environment, progressively aligning practices within the region and with the European Union highest standards. This is what the Transport Community will deliver and it will have crucial impacts on speed, quality, price and effectiveness of transport for citizens and businesses”, Fabrizi was quoted as saying.

The agreement on opening the Headquarter was signed by Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic and the newly appointed interim Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community Alain Baron.

The statement added that the Community was established in October 2017, following the signing on a Treaty on its creation on October 9, 2017. Its aim is “The development of transport network between the EU and countries of Southeast Europe – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia.

The seat of the Permanent Secretariat of Transport Community is expected to open physically in a few months.

Serbia’s Prime Minister said that the Community Headquarter “yet another symbol of Serbia’s progress it made together with the whole region and confirmed our region place in the heart of Europe.”

Mihajlovic said “the transport is not only asphalt, stone and connection speed, but it is also the most powerful tool in helping us to have a better life, to have more investments, stable peace and prosperity… To get closer to the Europen Union.”

The Transport Community Treaty was signed during the Western Balkans Summit in Trieste in July 2017 within the Berlin Process’ meetings.