Transport and logistics the key to EU enlargement

2024/04/03 at 9:32 AM

The European Commission has published information on reforms and investments that are necessary before the expansion of the European Union to new countries. Much attention was paid to the need to improve the functioning of transport connections with the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova.

Transport and logistics the key to EU enlargement

The enlargement of the European Union will improve connectivity in the Southeastern European region by integrating key transport mainlines in Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Albania into the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E). Modernisation will also include investments in digitalisation and communications. A vast majority of the projects integrating the economies of candidate countries and potential EU candidates will be implemented in the public-private partnership formula. It will also be important to involve countries seeking EU membership in cybersecurity initiatives and include them in joint purchasing instruments modelled on the EU Energy Platform.

The EU will support infrastructure investments in the Western Balkans in accordance with the adopted economic and investment framework from the pre-accession funds. Similar mechanisms will be developed for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. Under the Transport Community Treaty, the EC plans to integrate the transport corridors of these countries with the TNE-T network.

Investments will also be continued under the Solidarity Corridors – an initiative established by the EU after the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2022. Candidate countries will gradually be included in the Customs Union. The integration will also cover military mobility. The EU already supports public and private investments under the Instrument for Ukraine.

The importance of the private sector

EU enlargement will improve physical and digital connectivity in Eastern and Southern Europe, which will improve logistics processes and be a driving force for the development of economic exchange. As the EC indicates, it will be an impulse for the development of companies from the TFL sector and will benefit consumers. The success of EU enlargement will largely depend on private sector investment.

“The transport sector can significantly benefit from a well-prepared enlargement process. Better connectivity will facilitate more accessible, faster and cost-effective flows of goods and people across the enlarged EU. This is a key moment for the industry, with the potential to spur innovation and investment that will shape the future of European transport. In the context of the upcoming policy review, it is also mentioned that the European Commission will consider ways to further deepen the participation of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in the framework of the Transport Community Treaty,” commented Matej Zakonjšek, Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community Treaty.

The development of intermodal transport and the integration of the logistics systems of the Balkan countries with the Central European region will be among the issues discussed during the Logistics Business Days in Port of Koper conference, which will take place on 24-25 April 2024 in the Slovenian city of Portorož. More information about this event can be found at: LOGISTICS DAYS IN PORT OF KOPER / LUKA KOPER

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